General Question

walterallenhaxton's avatar

If the metro system in DC were to charge full price for it's tickets would the ridership fall below what is needed to support 1 car trains?

Asked by walterallenhaxton (886 points ) June 25th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

7 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

you could compensate it with a hefty innercity congestion charge, increased parking fees, environment tax, etc., that would discourage the use of automobiles in the city, and instead encourage the use of public transportation

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@ragingloli I don’t think you get it. The system is junk and it will take time to fix. Charging full price based on what it takes to run a car and pay the driver to stop and start it is the best way to keep it moving. With far fewer riders and the cars being run safely they will be able to fix everything needed to that level of service and improve the speed and value of the ride. With good advertising of the improvements they will get more riders. Single cars can be run more often and provide fo greater convenience. Over time more and more cars could be hooked together. The subway system does have competition. It is getting more expensive to ride on the roads. With with the time for improvements and correct amount of money coming in the subway would be able to hold it’s prices the same or even lower them as it added more cars per driver.

This is really a trick question. It can only be answered by doing it and finding out what happens. Nobody can answer it by figuring out the right answer. That is simply not the way that answers to this kind of problem can be found.

It is an exercise in entrepreneurship.

ragingloli's avatar

the german innercity public transport system (which is quite extensive, you can get anywhere you want), is paid for partly by public funding and partly by charging the passenger directly. It works superbly.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@ragingloli For the moment. Taxes must be high with all of the unemployed there. How do they attract investment capitol if they can not demonstrate that the customers are willing to pay for the product? It sounds like an unsustainable bubble activity. I wonder whay in central cities we don’t have transit tracks for personal transport between the buildings. I don’t mean short bridges. I mean ones that link the major buildings together high off of the ground. They can certainly hold the weight and would be cheap enough to build that they would pay for themselves and make a profit. Pneumatically driven cars in plastic tubes like those used in the play arias at McDonald’s should be relatively cheap and supportable by the buildings. A puff of air and off you go.

ragingloli's avatar

@walterallenhaxton
(for the public transport system in Dresden) it works superbly for almost 15 years already. Transport is outsourced to actual companies, and are tied into a single framework, with unified timetables and unified fare system.
It transports 400000 passengers daily, 144 million in 2008 and cost coverage has risen to 75% in 2008 (which means that 75% of the expenses are paid by actual fares, the rest is public funding. ). There is no question that people are willing to pay for the product, simply because they do pay for it. For ages.
The oldest example of such a system in Germany (in Hamburg) is in use since 1965.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@ragingloli Paying 75% is refusing to pay for the product.

ragingloli's avatar

@walterallenhaxton
0% is refusing to pay for the product.
Also don’t ignore the fact that it is not supposed to make profits, but to offer a high quality service to the inhabitants (which it does superbly).

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