Most potential riders do not perceive the DART risk as the ticket price. It is not knowing what to do and whom you will encounter. The flip side of free is every ne'er do well, particularly on hot or rainy days, sees DART as a good place to spend the day. That image is not going to help DART.
I believe few adults in the area that commute have not at least considered using DART. Several studies have shown that the number of adults in the area that could realistically use DART based on work and home location is not high. That stat is the absolute maximum. After that threshold, you have the DART 20 minute rule. No matter where you live or go, using DART will likely add 20 minutes to the trip, excluding time waiting for first leg. I use DART a lot and have almost always found the gap to be right round 20 minutes. The question riders have to ask what do I get for giving up that 20 minutes plus flexibility on starting trip. In more congested cities, I suspect that the 20 minutes goes to zero and may flip to negative number. Add in parking fees and the rational decision can be transit. Except for us in the 4 per cent, people in Dallas want that 20 minutes.
You can forget about gas prices changing the equation. As expected, people will simply adjust driving behavior or get different cars to keep auto as sole option.
A federal grant paid for the ozone day freebies. When it expired, no more freebies.
$160 a month is a nice little 5 year old compact car over three years, and the car is yours to drive anywhere anytime. DART is kidding themselves if they think there is no ceiling to ticket prices, in regards to the opportunity cost equation. They are rapidly approaching that ceiling. 25% to 33% increases in price at one time is simply a flat out dumb business decision.
Last edited by Alex Rodriguez; 25 April 2012 at 02:07 PM.
The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands. - Robert Persig
$160 a month is insane. I pay $86 a month for a MUCH better system
But no one at DART apparently thinks through that.
Or does your $86/mo. (I presume that's not the annual rate divided by 12) cover PACE and/or METRA too? If that's the case, it really isn't close.
1st ride $2.00 (bus) or $2.25 (rail)
1 day pass:$5.75
30 day pass:$86
Merta monthly fares are based upon zones. While the TRE and DCTA have two zones, DART only has one.
Zone Monthly One-Way
A $78.25 $2.75
B $85.50 $3.00
C $121.00 $4.25
D $135.25 $4.75
E $149.50 $5.25
F $163.75 $5.75
G $178.00 $6.25
H $192.25 $6.75
I $206.50 $7.25
J $220.75 $7.75
K $235.00 $8.25
M $263.50 $9.25
A corresponding "Regional" fare can be arrived by adding up both monthly fares, $86 + $78.25 (minimum) = $164.25 (minimum) and up to $86 + $263.50 (maximum) = $349.5 (maximum).
That sort of makes the new $160 DFW "Regional" monthly fare a bargain in comparison.
We can sit here until the cow jumps over the moon arguing fares. I just wanted to point out fares are relative just like the cost of living in various cities is relative. Suggesting DFW "Regional" fares are out of line with the rest of the nation is correct, but not in the way you think, it's actually the other way around, DFW can be much cheaper.
Well the fare increase is in effect now, and in general I'm happy that they introduced a mid-day fare for only $1.75 that is valid from 9:30 to 2:30. My only pet peeve is that the other day I ended up in Fort Worth and wanted to go to Dallas on the TRE during the mid-day. But in The T's territory, you can't buy a mid-day ticket for the TRE! Grrr. So what should have been a $3.50 fare, I had to buy a $5 ticket. But if I had been on the Dallas side, I can buy a ticket for $3.50 and get to FTW and that ticket is valid on any bus in FTW as well until 2:30 PM.
Just wanted to rant a little.
How many DART riders paid the surcharge going out to Centreport? I have ridden TRE a lot over the years and have never seen anyone check tickets. I have heard several times the conductor, when someone asked him or her what to do if they rushed on without a ticket, tell people to buy ticket when they debark from train. DART and T got the people that needed tickets at both ends, maybe most of traffic, but did not really care about the middle. They did not really lose any money from adding Centreport to what was Region 1.
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