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AAA: Metro riders will come out ahead despite proposed fare increase | News

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AAA: Metro riders will come out ahead despite proposed fare increase

WASHNGTON (WUSA9) -- Metro General Manager Richard Sarles will present a proposed increase in Metro fares on Thursday morning at a meeting. Now AAA Mid-Atlantic says that when it comes to comparing the costs of taking Metro or driving "Despite the planned hike, some commuters will still come out ahead by continuing to ride Metro..."

AAA made the statement in a press release issued Thursday.  Metro's budget proposal calls for an increase to Metro bus fares by 15 cents, Metrorail by 10 cents and parking fees by 25 cents. The standard bus fee would be $1.75 whether using a SmarTrip card or paying by cash. Rail fees would increase by three percent on average with a maximum increase of 15 percent, according to WMATA.

According to AAA, "Each day, that's a minimum 20 cent increase for your round-trip, plus another 25 cent increase to park. If your employer pays for your parking space in downtown Washington, you will find it cheaper to drive than to take Metro, in some, but not in all cases, AAA Mid-Atlantic calculates."

John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic's Manager of Public and Government Affairs, added, "After adding up the costs of driving and parking, commuters will often find that public transit is a more economical way to get to work and stick with Metro."

AAA then provided the following comparison chart: 


Driving (Plus Parking)

Riding Metro (Plus Driving Costs to Parking Facility and Parking Facility Costs)

Alexandria (via Huntington) to

McPherson Square

(420 miles per month)

$  503.10

Current cost per month: $321.82

After fare hike: $330.82

Greenbelt to Farragut North

(520 miles per month)

$  558.60

Current cost per month: $386.78

After fare hike: $395.78

Bowie (via New Carrollton) to Dupont Circle

(740 miles per month)

$  680.70

Current cost per month: $449.82

After fare hike: $458.82

*Using an average Metrorail increase of 10 cents and parking increase of 25 cents.

AAA explained, "For example, commuters will find the cost of driving from Bowie to Dupont Circle (18.5 miles each way) would set you back $20.54 a day for driving costs, but if you add in an average of $13.50 for parking then your daily cost averages $34.04, the auto club says. In comparison, it is currently $22.49 with SmarTrip or $24.49 cash price to take Metro and to park. That's a deal-breaker for the average commuter, explains a spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic. A minimum 20 cent increase per day plus increased parking fees takes the daily metro rate to $22.94 via SmarTrip or $24.94 cash price."

Read more about AAA's calculations in the PDF attached to this story.


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