WMATA Wants Your Opinion

Photo by PoPville flickr user rpmaxwell

From a press release:

Metro today began surveying customers online regarding budget and fare policy issues, as part of a public outreach process that will include upcoming open houses and public hearings.

The survey, available on the web at wmata.com/budget, asks customers for their thoughts in prioritizing services that support Metro’s day-to-day rail, bus and MetroAccess services, as well as ways to fund Metro and new fare options under consideration. For example, customers are asked for their feedback on a customized monthly pass, which would be priced based on a person’s “usual” Metrorail commute, new short trip and fast pass options, off-peak discounts, parking rates and the “peak of the peak” surcharge.

The survey will remain open until 5 p.m. Monday, March 12, and results will be submitted to Metro’s General Manager and Board of Directors.

4 Comment

  • Mr. Sarles,

    Metro asks the same questions year after year. You know what the problems are, yet you choose to ignore them and pretend to care the next year by askig the same questions. Nevertheless…here you go.

    Per your own Proposed FY2013 Budget

    The proposal shows Labor and pension costs are 50% of the increase in this year’s operating budget. Metro pays out nearly 200k more PER EMPLOYEE in pension benefits than the average of the six jurisdictions FFX, Arlington, Montgomery Co etc) listed in the DC Metro. Arlingtons pensioners aren’t dying of starvation in the street, why does Metro think paying nearly 200K more PER employee is legitimate?

    This isn’t new. The majority (more than 50%) of the money from the past three fare increases were for the same reason as Metro’s pension requirements have increased at twice inflationary levels for decades. Despite what Metro tells us and despite the daily delays, maintenance issues, atleast half the money Metro says it needs isn’t going for upgrades, new signals or brakes, escalators or elevators. It is going to fund an unbelievable pension program more costly than any local equivalent.

    The question is: Taking all of this into consideration, what steps is Metro taking to bring the enormous pension and labor costs back in line with comparable labor forces?

  • Was it just me or did the survey seem more like a PR tool than anything else?

    • I took the survey and had a similar feeling (though more so on some questions than on others) — like, in the future, they’ll justify doing a shoddy job of XYZ by saying, “Ah, but customers placed XYZ at the bottom of a list of eight items they wanted us to spend money on!”

  • @joker — exactly. And it’s not like my answer to the pension question on the survey is going to matter anyway. Clearly, WMATA doesn’t give two sh*ts about this issue or how the public feels about it (even though it’s clearly impacting the quality of metro, safety, maintenance, etc. — things that *directly* impact that public!).

    And while I would still be irritated by it, maybe I would be a tiny bit less so if I even encountered a non-surly employee who acts like he/she has better things to do than his/her job.

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