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Thread: DART Fare Increase

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFWCRE8TIVE
    New fare hike may be in store for Trinity Railway Express
    10:23 AM Mon, May 10, 2010
    Bruce Tomaso/Editor
    http://transportationblog.dallasnews...-in-store.html

    Another fare increase is likely for the Trinity Railway Express, the commuter train between downtown Dallas and downtown Forth Worth, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

    The paper said the Fort Worth Transportation Authority and Dallas Area Rapid Transit, which co-own the TRE, are considering raising the cost of a day pass -- good for bus and rail travel -- to $10, from the current $7.50, beginning in October.

    The current, $7.50 fare took effect last Sept. 14. Before that, a day pass was $5.

    So if the new hike is approved, the cost of a regional day pass will have doubled in just over a year.

    ...
    I've already stopped riding the TRE from Centrepoint to the AAC because of the last rate hike. When you're going to a game with 4 people it's much cheaper, and usually much quicker, to drive out there and pay to park. I imagine they'd lose a huge number of customers with a $10 daily fare.

  2. #102
    the-young-and-the-bright RobertB's Avatar
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    It's high compared to carpooling, but if it's just you, it's still a fair deal.

    I'm paying $600 in car payments and insurance just for the privilege of having a car in my driveway. Divide that out and it's $20 a day -- twice the price of the upcoming TRE fare. And that's before gas, tolls, and maintenance. So even though it's not as good a deal as before, it's still a good deal, especially if you're not carpooling with your buds.
    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals... Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. - B. Obama 1/20/09

  3. #103
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    Impact will be on people using TRE for special events. Drivers go with families or other related persons. $10 per person is a key threshold for those users. You can park a carload at Ranger Ballpark for $12.

    I'm not saying increase is not needed. Since the finances of DART don't really synch usage and financial stability, the normal issue with price sending wrong message to customers doesn't apply. DART's correct model is squeeze them for what they can pay. If fewer ride, so be it. We just need to be aware of its impact.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertB
    It's high compared to carpooling, but if it's just you, it's still a fair deal.

    I'm paying $600 in car payments and insurance just for the privilege of having a car in my driveway. Divide that out and it's $20 a day -- twice the price of the upcoming TRE fare. And that's before gas, tolls, and maintenance. So even though it's not as good a deal as before, it's still a good deal, especially if you're not carpooling with your buds.
    Not really a fair comparison - as TRE has incredibly limited coverage. I suspect that over 90% of TRE riders own a car because TRE is either their daily work commute option or only used for special events. In either case, TRE is not a substitution for a car. It's an augment.

    I'm all for public transit, but let's not overstate their usefulness in DFW. Maybe at some point in the future, one could do without a car, but we are clearly not there yet.

    Brian

  5. #105
    the-young-and-the-bright RobertB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjblazin
    Impact will be on people using TRE for special events. Drivers go with families or other related persons. $10 per person is a key threshold for those users. You can park a carload at Ranger Ballpark for $12.
    Wrong comparison -- there's no TRE service to the Ballpark. A better comparison would be at the American Airlines Center, where parking can easily top $30 bucks. If I were bringing a carload from Fort Worth, I'd pay the $40 for four people, figuring it's worth the extra $10 not to have to fight the traffic to get out of the gold-plated parking lot.

    Meanwhile, clear evidence that nobody even pays attention until they actually have to pay a fare: according to the DMN story, DART held 15 meetings about schedule changes -- and a grand total of 89 people showed up. That's six people at each meeting. More people have commented on this forum than bothered to comment directly to DART... and many, many times more people have posted inane, useless comments to the DMN articles. I may be the pot calling the kettle racial epithets, because I didn't make it myself... but it looks like it's an awful lot easier to complain about how "they" are screwing you over, than it is to stand up and do something about it.
    Last edited by RobertB; 11 May 2010 at 03:54 PM.
    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals... Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. - B. Obama 1/20/09

  6. #106
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    ^ well said.
    Times weighs down on you like an old, ambiguous dream. You keep on moving, trying to slip through it. But even if you go to the ends of the earth, you won't be able to escape it.
    Haruki Murakami

  7. #107
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    They won't know the first time, but they'll remember the next time.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertB
    Wrong comparison -- there's no TRE service to the Ballpark. A better comparison would be at the American Airlines Center, where parking can easily top $30 bucks. If I were bringing a carload from Fort Worth, I'd pay the $40 for four people, figuring it's worth the extra $10 not to have to fight the traffic to get out of the gold-plated parking lot.
    .
    Parking doesn't cost anywhere near $30 for the AAC. The silver parking garage is $20 and all the surface lots owned by the AAC are $15 or $10. If you're willing to walk from the lots under Woodall Rogers it's $5.

    And after a game it takes about 1 1/2 hours for the train to get to the T&P station in Fort Worth, 50 minutes to Centrepoint. For $5 I was willing to deal with that, any more than that and I'm not.

  9. #109
    the-young-and-the-bright RobertB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nrrhgreg
    Parking doesn't cost anywhere near $30 for the AAC. The silver parking garage is $20 and all the surface lots owned by the AAC are $15 or $10. If you're willing to walk from the lots under Woodall Rogers it's $5.

    And after a game it takes about 1 1/2 hours for the train to get to the T&P station in Fort Worth, 50 minutes to Centrepoint. For $5 I was willing to deal with that, any more than that and I'm not.
    I guess it depends on the event. When I take the Tollway south in the afternoon, I see people on Harry Hines and Akard with signs touting $30 parking for the AAC, several blocks away. But I haven't gone that way in a while -- maybe I was just the victim of bad timing? Has it gotten cheaper to park there?

    Nonetheless, I would certainly take that hour and a half on the train over the hour on the road. Especially if part of my enjoyment of the game included alcoholic beverages.
    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals... Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. - B. Obama 1/20/09

  10. #110
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    DART eyes big fare jump for non-residents
    By Rodger Jones/Editorial Writer
    rmjones@dallasnews.com | Bio
    3:50 PM on Mon., Apr. 18, 2011
    http://transportationblog.dallasnews...mp-for-no.html

    The following is taken word-for-word from D magazine's RealPoints blog . It is from David Leininger, DART's CFO, who was speaking in a panel discussion.

    David Leininger: Our demand has grown beyond our boundaries. One of our biggest challenges is dealing with Frisco and McKinney and all of the areas north of our service area. Ten percent of all trips are generated at our end-of the-line stations; 55 percent of those end-of-line riders are "non-residents," or people who live outside of DART, and that rate is growing. At the time that the plan was put together, 25 years ago, out-of-area ridership was probably 1 or 2 percent.

    We are spending, on light rail alone, in terms of subsidies to people who live outside our service area, roughly $20 million on the operating side. If you fold in the capital costs associated with it, it's about $50 million a year in expense for riders who do not live in the service area and whose cities do not contribute to DART.

    That's the big economic challenge that we've got to address. There is literally a discussion going on with our board now, to have non-resident and resident price differentiation. And it would be a big differentiation. It wouldn't be 25 cents, I can tell you that.
    Pretty big change, it would be. One question, from a regional standpoint, is the effect higher DART fares would have on traffic congestion. If a fare hike runs off non-residents from DART trains and they drive to work, hasn't the city lost something, since it will mean more commuters on the road?

    ...

  11. #111
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    Yes I think the city and the region will lose something. What the board may try to address is a bit larger issue...because to do that, will require some major infrastructure improvement and additional staff to pull it off. With the current state of transportation and politics in this region and the state for that matter...I do not know how this price-differentiation or fare equity problem can be solved efficiently and also serve DART and the region well in the long run.

  12. #112
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    This is short sighted, penny pinching, and sounds like it comes from the CFO of a short sighted, penny pinching agency like DART. This statement that DART is somehow subsidizing the communities outside their service area is ludicrous. Non-DART residents pay their fare just like everyone else. Non-DART communities do not have DART bus service, para-transit service, etc. Nor do they have the economic development opportunities around train stations.

    Even a doubling of the fare for non-residents is not going to close any type of funding gap. 2010 saw DART make about $60 million in fare revenue from their entire system. I can't find specifics on Bus vs. Rail. Let's say they made $30 million from Rail fares. They say 10% of their trips are from end of line stations. And half of those end of line trips are out of towners.

    So a grand total of 5% of their ridership is outside of their service area. I don't care what it costs to transport those people, I care what DART thinks they can charge those folks. Like I said, lets say they double the fare on out of towners...

    The 5% Out of Town pay 5% of $30 million, which is $1.5 million. If they double the fare on those people, they increase total revenue by $1.5 million. DARTs operating budget is $400 million dollars. So DART thinks it is worth the negative publicity, the drop in ridership, the increase in freeway traffic, everything negative that is going to go with slapping a 100% increase on non-residents, for 0.4% of their operating budget? Not 4% but 0.4%? And if they don't double it, then really what is the point? 50% increase on non-residents gets you a grand total of $750,000.

    Not to mention, how much will it cost to create a foolproof system to be able to ensure than non-residents get a non-resident pass? Are they going to change out the vending machines at 55 rail stops? Are these vending machines going to be able to scan your drivers license and read your city of residence? How much will it cost to put in 165 new vending machines? So they will probably lose money on this idea for a couple of years, all for what?

    DART is run by people who don't have a clue, I'm convinced of it. Same stupid idea with charging for parking. They are worse than American Airlines. Penny wise, Pound foolish.
    Last edited by Alex Rodriguez; 19 April 2011 at 03:54 PM.

  13. #113
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    Playing a little devil's advocate here...

    Since we're talking about tax dollars at work, we need to evaluate the cost/benefit of such a system. DART's finances are in a tough spot - and if you believe they are only looking short-term - can you describe a high level plan that would get their finances in order?

    While I really like the concept of DART, I have a tendency to lean toward the belief that DFW is too spread out for a rail system to be economicly feasible. Too much track to buy ROW, build and maintain. Our house is affluent, so I personally don't mind my money going toward a system like DART, but I suspect that my position on this (i.e. don't mind putting more money into a system than I get use out of it) is in the minority among my income bracket. So, please help me understand how you would run DART to make it a non money-losing entity.

    Brian

    (I personally think using the same dollars to fix underlying existing infrastructures that are deteriorating would be a better use of money - sewers, storm drainage and surface street repair have been neglected for a LONG time in Dallas and I can't help but believe Dallas's underground infrastructure would be in better shape if it had an additional 1% sales tax to allocate to those sort of improvements/maintenance - though I admit I'm ignorant in the city funding realm and don't even know if these revenues could be used for such ventures)
    Last edited by LH_Newbie; 20 April 2011 at 09:46 AM.

  14. #114
    Supertall Skyscraper Member aceplace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Rodriguez
    This is short sighted, penny pinching, and sounds like it comes from the CFO of a short sighted, penny pinching agency like DART.
    The basic economics do seem marginal. I suspect that any enforced differential would be done in order to make a point, express the social message that DART membership is a valuable privilege.

  15. #115
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    I think that DART should be focusing on increasing ridership any way they can. This nickle and dime business is not going to make any impact on their bottom line. Taxing the riders at the end of the lines with Parking fees, and non-member rates is just DARTs small minded vision for increasing revenue by 0.001 percent.

    It is all about ridership. Increase your ridership. Run your trains on time. Make them clean. Make them safe. Promote the heck out of retail around the stations. Work with the cities to improve pedestrian access. Promote the heck out of mixed use.

    Help the member cities increase their sales tax revenue. That is where the big money is. 85% of DARTs revenue is Sales Tax. Do everything you can to increase traffic, boardings, numbers that will entice developers to build. There are huge swaths of prime real estate around a large portion of the DART stations just begging for development. Be all about seeing that happen. That is where you will see your operating revenue go up.

    Not by nickle and diming 5% of your ridership with taxes and parking fees. That is chump change and discourages ridership. Just dumb. They are really really dumb.

  16. #116
    Supertall Skyscraper Member aceplace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Rodriguez
    Not by nickle and diming 5% of your ridership with taxes and parking fees. That is chump change and discourages ridership. Just dumb. They are really really dumb.
    It's been a long time since we've been astonished by the wisdom and foresight of a public agency.

    OTOH, DART may be the best of a bad bunch. Not that that possibility contradicts your opinion...

    It just means we've got problems...
    Last edited by aceplace; 20 April 2011 at 10:41 AM.

  17. #117
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    The revenues at DART are not about ridership. They are about sales tax. Increasing ridership from Collin County so people can ride past Dallas County businesses does nothing for DART. This situation is not a classic case where riders cover variable cost plus extra and the more riders mean more extra to cover fixed costs. I suspect riders do not cover variable costs and consequently DART saves money with fewer riders.

    If sales tax drives your proforma, then you have to incent people to get on that team or force the remainder to pay a higher share of the costs. Now residents, riders and non-riders, are subsidizing non-resident riders. While the resident riders might agree, eventually you have to expect the resident non-riders will step up and demand some action.

    The target audience for DART's message is the group of resident non-riders: taking care of your investment.

  18. #118
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    MJBlazin,

    I hear what you are saying. However, you are incorrect in assuming that increasing ridership from the northern non-member cities does nothing for member-city businesses.

    I personally know of several people who have taken the train for the first time and were pleased. Rode to a MAVS game. Paid fare on a train that was running anyway. Also know of people that visited Deep Ellum for the first time because they wanted to take the Green Line for the first time. Know of several people who have gotten off at Downtown Carrollton on their way home to eat at Babes.

    Ridership numbers will have a effect on whether or not a developer puts in 1000 apartments with 50000 sq feet of retail. You can't get there by alienating the non-member riders. The system was never designed to be exclusively for member city residents only.

    You are absolutely correct in stating that it is all about sales tax. DART needs to be all about helping the member cities to increase their sales tax revenues. And sales tax revenues go up when you put in 1000 people into a mixed use center at a rail stop, and have businesses booming at your rail stops. And telling the non-member residents "you are not welcome" is counter-productive to that goal.

    Especially counter-productive when you are talking about alienating and discouraging ridership all in the name of half a percent of your operating budget.

  19. #119
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    How much of this could be an attempt to distract from the criticism that the Green Line can run 3 SLRVs (with much lighter ridership) and the other lines only run 2 (with much higher ridership).

    Personally, I think it was a critical planning error not to think ahead in regards to removing the high blocks and placing the level boarding hump thingys in the right place on the other lines. It's not the fault of the riders that DART can't adapt appropriately.
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  20. #120
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    What evidence exists beyond anecdotal evidence of any statistically significant INCREMENTAL effect of non-DART zone riders on DART zone business activity, beside Mavericks/Stars fans? I exclude them because that activity goes to the TIF and does not help DART. They don't add any other activity beyond what they would add after driving to work.

    If the evidence was there, then you could evaluate benefits and costs. Now the verified benefits are a big zero and cost factors have to take charge.

  21. #121
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    Lightbulb

    DART gets most of its revenues from 1% sales taxes collected in member cities. Where the passenger lives, in a member city or not, doesn't affect DART revenues. People may have their home in a member city and spend all their money in a non-member city, likewise someone calling home in a non-member city may spend all their money in a member city. Although I will agree both cases are extremely unlikely, it's possible.

    DART loses more revenues from sales taxes to internet sales than they will ever collect from 'targeted" parking fees. If DART wants to charge parking fees at parking lots, they should charge everyone who parks in their lots. I'm not even sure their "targeted" scheme will pass the equal protection clauses in Federal laws. Expect a Federal lawsuit to be filed immediately after DART starts "targeting" customers.

    About half the capital required to build DART light rail lines and to buy buses, and a significant part of DART operations and maintenance budgets come from the Feds. That includes people living as far away as Alaska and Hawaii. DART certainly wouldn't want to pay the Feds back all the funds they have accepted over the years.
    Last edited by electricron; 20 April 2011 at 04:25 PM.

  22. #122
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by mjblazin
    What evidence exists beyond anecdotal evidence of any statistically significant INCREMENTAL effect of non-DART zone riders on DART zone business activity, beside Mavericks/Stars fans? I exclude them because that activity goes to the TIF and does not help DART. They don't add any other activity beyond what they would add after driving to work.

    If the evidence was there, then you could evaluate benefits and costs. Now the verified benefits are a big zero and cost factors have to take charge.
    TIFs don't affect DART revenues in any way. TIFs are all about spreading out wealth from increased property tax revenues coming from new developments, not sales taxes. DART gets zero property taxes, most of its revenues comes from sales taxes.
    Last edited by electricron; 20 April 2011 at 12:40 PM.

  23. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by art_suckz
    How much of this could be an attempt to distract from the criticism that the Green Line can run 3 SLRVs (with much lighter ridership) and the other lines only run 2 (with much higher ridership).

    Personally, I think it was a critical planning error not to think ahead in regards to removing the high blocks and placing the level boarding hump thingys in the right place on the other lines. It's not the fault of the riders that DART can't adapt appropriately.
    I completely agree that this should be DARTs #1 project right now. Replacing the humps with level boarding at all remaining Red and Blue Line stations. They can increase capacity by up to 50% without having to change a thing on their schedule. Would encourage ridership, boost fare revenue, etc. etc.

  24. #124
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    A few more thoughts

    Couple of added thoughts on the DART outsider fares:

    -- Non-DART cities will not be lured into DART membership because a few hundred of their residents get upset by higher train fares. That's delusional. Up the Red Line from Plano, McKinney has 100,000 people and growing. Allen has 80,000 people and growing. These cities use the extra increment of sales tax to lure business, not pay for transportation, and they're proud of it. I don't see a few unhappy transit riders who commute into Dallas changing that.

    -- If DART is considering outsider fares for rail passengers, does the agency extend that philosophy to its HOV lanes? Why let McKinney drivers in the HOVs for free? If and when DART starts charging in HOVs -- they'll be called "managed lanes" then -- shouldn't out-of-area drivers from Arlington, Wylie and Cedar Hill pay higher tolls to get to their jobs in Dallas?

    More on Dallas Transportation blog: http://transportationblog.dallasnews...-hit-outs.html

  25. #125
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    This little experiment by DART only spotlights the need for revenue generation to come from all communities within the area, not just the core cities.

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    I've been quoted in the DMN for the second time in 4 months. Maybe I'm in the wrong business. :-)

    http://transportationblog.dallasnews...-hit-outs.html

  27. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodger Jones
    Couple of added thoughts on the DART outsider fares:

    -- Non-DART cities will not be lured into DART membership because a few hundred of their residents get upset by higher train fares. That's delusional. Up the Red Line from Plano, McKinney has 100,000 people and growing. Allen has 80,000 people and growing. These cities use the extra increment of sales tax to lure business, not pay for transportation, and they're proud of it. I don't see a few unhappy transit riders who commute into Dallas changing that.

    url]
    Essentially these people don't really matter and we may as well extract more coin from them. They have no leverage with home county nor the DART jurisdictions. They can vote with their feet or pay. We don't get hurt if they leave and lose less money if they stay.

  28. #128
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by mjblazin
    Essentially these people don't really matter and we may as well extract more coin from them. They have no leverage with home county nor the DART jurisdictions. They can vote with their feet or pay. We don't get hurt if they leave and lose less money if they stay.
    Losing all Federal funds coming DART's way will hurt DART.

    I'm pretty sure DART will not be allowed to charge different rates for long according to where someone lives. I don't see any Federal court allowing that by a private corporation, much less a public institution. I expect someone will file suit as soon as DART implements this illegal fee scheme.

    Imagine the outcry if TXDOT placed an out-of-state fee on every vehicle crossing the state's border. Imagine the out cry if the City of Dallas did the same thing for vehicles not owned by those living in Dallas.

    You can bet civil liberties groups will file at the first opportunity.
    Last edited by electricron; 20 April 2011 at 04:36 PM.

  29. #129
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    Equal Protection is only applicable only to the extent that state/city places an inordinate burden on the right to travel. Simply making the non-resident less comfortable must bow to the state's legitimate interest in running its own affairs and incenting people paying taxes with good services. The non-resident cannot be charged a fee in excess of the actual cost. Since neither price comes anywhere near the true cost of the trip/service, that won't hold up.

    Somebody might file, but the logic is pretty weak. ACLU has better things to fight than equal parking fees for people from one of the richest counties in the nation.

  30. #130
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    MJBlazin,

    What about visitors traveling the Orange Line from DFW? How do you force them to pay "Non-Member fares?" And DART maintains the HOV Lanes. When those go to managed lanes are they going to determine if you are a member vehicle or a non-member vehicle?

    What makes no sense is the reward for all of this nickle and diming: Very little. Yes, Non-Members "don't matter" but they also don't pay very much. As I stated earlier, even if you raised fares 100%, and didn't drive away any of the non-members with that ridiculous fare, you bring in a net total of $1.5 million, or less than 1/2 a percent of DART Operating Budget.

    Is it really worth a million dollars to:

    1) Piss off 5% of your ridership and drive away a good percentage of them?
    2) Lower your overall ridership, thereby making your rail stations less attractive to development?
    3) Invite lawsuits
    4) Increase vehicular traffic
    5) Pay for a brand new system of vending machines that will be able to police this policy, upwards of nearly 200 of them?

    Again, it's squeezing 5% of your ridership for chump change while making your overall product less marketable.

  31. #131
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    I'm not saying it would be one of my top items. I'm just saying it's legal and has minimum downside if you can keep the costs under control. All the cited negative impacts are nits and most likely could not be calculated outside the normal variation in the data. Impacts are too small. Ridership itself matters very little in the financial health of DART. Businesses do it all the time. Push away the bad customers and leave more space for good customers.

  32. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Rodriguez
    Again, it's squeezing 5% of your ridership for chump change while making your overall product less marketable.
    I personally think the "5% of your ridership" that is using this for commuting to/from work that would get squeezed out don't spend any more/less money in member cities based on if they ride the rail anyhow. I think a vast majority of these folks would convert from:

    - driving to the rail station, parking for free and then commuting to work, having lunch, then commuting back to their car parked in a free spot

    to:

    - driving to work, having lunch, then driving home

    I really don't see a benefit for wanting to keep these people. They chew up real estate, take seats and all for zero incremental tax revenue.

    Am I oversimplifying or off base? It really seems like you are almost making this point, then saying we should keep them because some how a person simply walking through a station makes it more viable to businesses. I'm not seeing your point.

    When I lived in Allen, I would drive to Plano and park for free - then ride the rail to work (which I'd drive to if the lot was full, which it often was). I didn't spend any money at a rail station, nor did the vast majority of folks I saw pull in, park and ride to their destinations either. So I am basing my assumptions based on my experiences.

    Brian

  33. #133
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    I would like to make a subtle clarification of a point that has been made on here:

    It's been mentioned that sales tax revenues are diverted to pay for DART membership, then inferred that because someone spends money (and pays sales tax) within those boundaries, that they should have the same rights as citizens of the member cities. I would remind you that the member-city citizens are the ones that voted to divert THEIR money (sales tax is city money, controlled by it's citizens, not the people that spend money that don't live there).

    Sorry for the double-post, but I thought it important to make two distinctly different points in different posts.

    Brian

  34. #134
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    Again, I think you can view it like an accountant and argue that you can squeeze a few more bucks from the outsiders. Just like American Airlines views bag fees. To the bean counters, it makes perfect financial sense. Or you can view it as a smart CEO who sees opportunity and drives growth. Ridership is one of the main factors used to judge the success of a transit system, you see it cited all the time. So you can try to hoard and protect your terrible ridership numbers from outsiders, or you do everything to grow your business and encourage ridership.

    I guarantee you that if DART had double the ridership they would see a major increase in development around their train stations and better sales tax revenue coming in from their member cities. Look at any successful transit agency and you will see that ridership is one of their big harbingers of success.

  35. #135
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    Based upon a portion of the last post, then indeed development patterns need to change in certain areas, especially close to the stations. The trick is...getting industries and businesses to move to those areas instead of further out of the core areas of the region.

    So this is a good question to ask: How do a city or a transit agency for that matter, lead businesses to build near transit stations (thus help in increasing ridership)?

  36. #136
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    Ridership is only important to development if people decide to live near the station because it offers access to the region or if employers move near a station because it offers access. Ridership increases from those changes means something. Having people get off at a station and walk to work vs drive to a parking lot near the station and walk to work adds no incremental reason to develop. It's the same people. They are just substituting a really big car for a regular sized car.

    Just adding people to the system does not inherently offer development opportunities especially if those people get on at the extreme end of the system. Maybe overall ridership is a number important to bureaucrats that run transit systems, but no one in private sector is going to invest on it.

  37. #137
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    Going up again this year...

    DART fares going up again this year; monthly pass would jump $15, daily pass by a buck
    By Michael Lindenberger/Reporter
    9:18 AM on Tue., Apr. 10, 2012
    http://transportationblog.dallasnews...gain-this.html

    ...

    Here are the highlights in the proposal:

    * The cheapest tickets would jump from $1.75 each way to $1.50, and daily passes would go from $4 to $5.

    * Monthly passes would jump from $65 to $80.

    * The types of fares would be streamlined, as DART wants to do away with the distinction between "local" and "system" fares. The new fares, at the cheapest level, would be good for riding any DART bus or train anywhere in the 13-city service area. TRE trips that don't cross the Tarrant-Dallas county line would also be included.

    * Regional passes would continue to cost more, and would entitle riders to take the TRE into Tarrant County or transfer in Carrollton to Denton's A-Train, which travels between Trinity Mills Station and Denton. Those monthly passes would go from $120 to $160 under the proposed change.

    Other big changes include the introduction of:

    * Two-hour fares. For $2.50, riders will be able to buy a system ticket that will be good for as many trips as they can take within two hours.

    ...

  38. #138
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    ^ The two hour fare seems like a good idea -- but I don't think the choice to eliminate the difference between "local" and "system" fares is wise: it seems like forcing riders to pay more for services that they are unlikely to use.
    Last edited by msutton; 10 April 2012 at 12:43 PM. Reason: clarity
    Times weighs down on you like an old, ambiguous dream. You keep on moving, trying to slip through it. But even if you go to the ends of the earth, you won't be able to escape it.
    Haruki Murakami

  39. #139
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    I got a little ahead of myself, reading just his summary instead of diving in myself. Actually, the new fare rules don't seem quite as bad (or as cut and dry as Lindenberger made them), but I'm already confused by them. The Off-Peak mid-day fare seems great, but what is the fare for a rider ineligible for reduced fare after 7pm?

    Take a look -- I'm curious to hear other folks' reactions:

    Attachment 3
    DART FARE STRUCTURE

    Effective – December 1, 2012

    BASE TWO-HOUR FARE – Peak Period
    System: $2.50
    Regional: $5.00
    Paratransit – Demand Response Van/Sedan Service: $3.00
    Paratransit trips to fixed-route stops: $0.75
    Paratransit-eligible riders on fixed-route services FREE

    OFF-PEAK FARES
    Mid-Day (Single fare that allows unlimited travel between 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday)
    System: $1.75
    Regional: $3.50
    Reduced (Monday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.; All day Saturdays, Sundays, and Designated Holidays—see notefor further qualifications)
    System Reduced: $1.25
    Regional Reduced: $2.50

    PREPAID MULTI-RIDE FARES
    Annual Pass
    System $800.00
    Regional $1,600.00

    Monthly Pass
    System $80.00
    Regional $160.00

    Weekly Pass
    System $25.00
    Regional $50.00

    Day Pass
    System $5.00
    Regional $10.00

    Regional Day Pass Book of Ten: $50.00
    10-Ticket Paratransit Coupon Book: $30.00

    * Reduced Fares are applicable on bus and rail for the following:
    (a) Seniors and Non-Paratransit Disabled with valid ID
    (b) Children, elementary through junior high school; Children under 5 (see Free Fares)
    (c) DART Shuttle Bus Routes

    ** Regional Day Pass Book of Ten is available only to government and non-profit institutions tobe issued to DART Service Area clients.


    FOOTNOTES:
    Fare, Pass, and Ticket Descriptions
    1. Peak Period: Monday through Friday (except holidays) 4:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 2:30p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Certain special-event weekend days as designated by DART are also considered Peak Period.
    2. System: All DART buses and trains; Trinity Railway Express service between Union Station and CentrePort Station; DART On-Call and Flex service.
    3. Regional: All DART buses and trains; all Trinity Railway Express service; The T in FortWorth; the A-Train and DCTA in Denton.
    4. Mid-Day Fare: A single fare that allows unlimited travel between 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
    5. Reduced Fare: Off-Peak reduced fares are valid for those who qualify on Off-Peak, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, except for special-event weekend days, as designated by DART.

    (MY ORIGINAL POST: Lindenberger updated the entry to say "The cheapest tickets would jump from $1.75 each way to $2.50, and daily passes would go from $4 to $5" -- which is ridiculous!

    The MTA is a $2.25 a ride -- for a much better, faster, and more extensive system. Having the cheapest DART option be a $2.50 "two-hour window" single ride is utter stupidity. I hope this isn't true. $1.50 for, say, a 45-60 min one way and $2.50 for a two-hour ticket makes fine sense -- but if $2.50 is now the lowest fare on DART, I think it's safe to say the DART experiment will close as an epic crash and burn disaster.
    )
    Last edited by msutton; 10 April 2012 at 01:09 PM. Reason: More info and reason
    Times weighs down on you like an old, ambiguous dream. You keep on moving, trying to slip through it. But even if you go to the ends of the earth, you won't be able to escape it.
    Haruki Murakami

  40. #140
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    Well I guess I'll have more room to stretch my legs and have my pick of seats...

  41. #141
    Metropolist-in-the-making jrd1964's Avatar
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    DART is expecting a 3% decrease in ridership and a 16% increase in revenue. The only increases I see from this is a bigger % of cars on the local roads, and a 100% increase in greedyness on DART's part.

    Sounds like I need to step up that savings-for-a-car account ASAP......

  42. #142
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    n.m.
    Last edited by Tucy; 10 April 2012 at 03:29 PM.

  43. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by electricron View Post
    I don't see any Federal court allowing that by a private corporation....
    Totally, completely legal. And done all the time. The term is Geographic Price Discrimination.

    You have car insurance? Your rate is based on where you park your car at night.

    Amazon got "caught" a few years ago testing different prices for folks in different zip codes. Basically charging the folks in Highland Park more than the folks in Pleasant Grove. Nothing illegal, but they dropped it because of the (substantial) bad press.

  44. #144
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    I just went back and reread the pricing. A 23% increase for the monthly local pass? And a whopping 33% increase for the monthly regional pass, thats already your most expensive product? It's ridiculous. What genius sits over at DART and thinks that up? Do they have any interest in building market share? Customer satisfaction?

    Why not a 10% increase? Go from 65 to 70. 120 to 130. They would lose zero riders that way. Instead some genius says they will only lose 3% of their ridership, as if #1 that is even realistic when you raise prices 25% or more, and #2, how they possibly do anything at this point to lose more ridership. It's already in the toilet.

  45. #145
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    Is there any information on whether the Monthly pass will continue to be a "31 day" pass or if it will be pure monthly? The important distinction is that you can buy the 31 day any day of the month and it is good for 31 days, a pure Monthly pass bought on the 10th is only good until the 30/31st of that month (21 days).

  46. #146
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    So DART is instituting a new policy which will drive down ridership even further? Well they had lost me temporarily, now they have almost lost me permanently. Why would I ride DART to where I work with an $80 monthly pass when gasoline at the current level cost me around $50 a month? Yes that's right, I live less than 7 miles from where I work, and apparently that makes public transportation less convenient and more costly than driving in Dallas. What is the ridership of DART? 4% or so, maybe a little higher. Yeah that makes sense

  47. #147
    Supertall Skyscraper Member electricron's Avatar
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    A single trip will be $2.50, a day pass will be $5. The new monthly far will be $80. Assuming 20 work days in a typical month (4 weeks), you'd spend $100 if you bought 20 day passes, or bought 40 tickets. So, that monthly pass is saving you $20 net, or 20%.

    For comparison purposes, today the fares are $1.75, while day passes are $4.00. The monthly pass is $65. You would spend $70 for 40 tickets, or $80 for 20 day passes. The monthly pass today saves you either $5 or $15, or 7% or 23%.

    It's not that DART is charging more for monthly passes as much as it is charging more for individual tickets and day passes. The savings (by percentages) for the new monthly pass is about the same for individual fares (23% to 20%), and a significant improvement in savings for day passes (7% to 20%).

    I assume that students and the elderly will still qualify for reduced fares, although I am unaware what their changes will be.

    And please don't suggest DART's cost of operating more trains didn't increase with the opening of the Green and Orange lines. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that an increase in service, a service requiring a subsidy for every rider, also requires an increase in subsidy, resulting in an increase in fares.
    Last edited by electricron; 14 April 2012 at 12:51 AM.

  48. #148
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    No doubt the subsidy of each passenger is going to be increased. After all DART drove away this passenger who use to use public transit everyday to get to work, now I drive. So if DART is driving away passengers it is no wonder the subsidy per passenger is going to increase. The additional rail expansion just increases the subsidies required per person which requires a fare increase which further lowers ridership because people like me won't use DART anymore.

  49. #149
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    Every so often, the cable or satellite TV company will offer a "free-preview weekend" for a cluster of premium networks (HBO, Showtime, what have you). The idea, of course, is to expose the customer to those stations and "show him what he's missing."

    I wonder if a similar tactic might work for DART. I know they've run free trains before, but they seem to be one-day, Saturday-only affairs to celebrate the opening of a new line or segment. Businessmen, commuters, and those wedded to their cars for daily travel are unlikely to use to the trains here, much less be persuaded.

    Why not have a week of free, unlimited ridership for the entire LRT (and perhaps bus) network? Those who buy long-term passes (the bulk of DART's revenue anyway) would be unaffected (as would DART!), just like those who already subscribe to the preimium cable. But those who don't regularly use the trains would see this a "risk-free" opportunity to see what the system has to offer. Hopefully several would be impressed and see the value of the service. At worst, it would be good PR for the agency, which is now associated almost exclusively with fare increases, service cut-backs, and "crime."

  50. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by profbarium View Post
    Every so often, the cable or satellite TV company will offer a "free-preview weekend" for a cluster of premium networks (HBO, Showtime, what have you). The idea, of course, is to expose the customer to those stations and "show him what he's missing."

    I wonder if a similar tactic might work for DART. I know they've run free trains before, but they seem to be one-day, Saturday-only affairs to celebrate the opening of a new line or segment. Businessmen, commuters, and those wedded to their cars for daily travel are unlikely to use to the trains here, much less be persuaded.

    Why not have a week of free, unlimited ridership for the entire LRT (and perhaps bus) network? Those who buy long-term passes (the bulk of DART's revenue anyway) would be unaffected (as would DART!), just like those who already subscribe to the preimium cable. But those who don't regularly use the trains would see this a "risk-free" opportunity to see what the system has to offer. Hopefully several would be impressed and see the value of the service. At worst, it would be good PR for the agency, which is now associated almost exclusively with fare increases, service cut-backs, and "crime."
    You have to remember, this is DART. A policy that would increase ridership appears to be out of the question.

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