Tuesday, November 03, 2009
The DC area subway system is short of money and the Washington Post dutifully reports that a falloff in subway riders is responsible. Instead of a 3% jump in ridership, due to the recession and the aftermath of a subway crash earlier this year, actual ridership has fallen 6%.
Of course, if the Metro system hadn't based their spending plans on a 'I have a dream of more riders', and instead had set spending levels on a more conservative estimate of ridership, they wouldn't be facing a cash shortage. Or if they had not figured on spending ALL of the revenue they hoped to get and instead had given themselves a cushion, then they wouldn't be facing a cash shortage.
Normally, I don't like it when governments look to raise taxes and fees when they run short of money, but since subway riders pay but a fraction of the true cost of their rides, I have no problem with raising fares.
But that alone isn't going to solve Metro's cash problems, they're not planning on raising fares enough to cover the shortfall. It would be nice if they took a knife and cut some spending, but that just isn't in the DNA of a government bureaucrat.