Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Public Works Don't Work

A Random Stranger in class: "The people running Metro aren't--well, it might seem otherwise, but they aren't fools. They know escalators are supposed to work; they just prefer they don't."

Just in the relatively short time we've lived here (not quite four years yet), Metro has destroyed our incentive to ever use the system. Four years ago we could take the family in and out of the District for a reasonable price. Now, with higher fares, extended peak hour rates, and SmartCard requirements, it is never cheaper for us to take the train.

Metro's response is not to become more competitive, but to get the government to give its workers more money for riding the train. Losing commuters to driving while gas prices are at record high real prices (and while government hiring has been rising) is such a failure of management that Metro's entire board should be replaced. Instead they keep their jobs while spending $2.75 billion on a new line to the airport that doesn't actually go to the airport.

In related "crony bureaucrat" news, the new transit station in Silver Spring is years late, millions over budget (current cost: $112 million), and completely unusable. But you know what we need? More government involvement in our individual healthcare decisions. That makes a lot of sense.

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