Photo by PoPville flickr user Jordan Barab
I have an issue if you don’t mind another story about WMATA’s nickle and dimming it’s most loyal customers and an absurd policy that should be changed.
As you know WMATA offers a transfer saving of $0.50 from bus to metro. It also offers an option for a metro pass for monthly riders. But if you do get a pass, you loose the transfer reduction. Why? no one at WMATA knows. and its not clearly communicated on the page where you would buy a pass, so many people may not even know they are getting short changed. Sure it seems small, but for someone who is trying to save $10 a month, pinching pennys to save for college perhaps, it’s just cruel to be squeezed by the public transit system of your city!
How dose this actually affect people…
lets say you ride from Georgia ave to L’Enfant everyday weekday for work (20 days a month), you could save about $10 a month by getting smart pass for $2.50 rides, after riding for 18 days the rest of your rides are free (2 day = $10.00.) However, lets say you also live a little far from the Georgia ave stop, maybe near military, and that’s a long walk, but you like to walk, you try to do it to save money, but sometimes it’s faster, or your just too cold or too tired to walk the whole way, or maybe you don’t feel safe when it’s already dark, and you would like to take the bus, the 70 or 79. If you do that half the time (say every evening after work), at 0.50 a ride, you’ve now lost the benefit of buying the pass. In addition, if you ride the bus any more than that, your monthly costs are now more than they would be if you had never purchased the pass.
I asked three different people at WMATA over the phone what the reason could possibly be for this “pass= no transfer” policy, and no one could give me any reason for the policy, in fact, Sunny who answers questions about passes was shocked when she figured it out, and thought it was unfair. There is no reason.
If you think about that scenario, its actually all to common, mom walks to the metro in the morning, because she can, but she doesn’t feel safe walking home when it’s getting dark so she opts for the bus, the pass is worthless and she doesn’t even know it. It just seems wrong and somebody has got to call WMATA out on this!”