Thursday, June 17, 2004

COMMUTING: WMATA to Raise Bus and Subway Fares; Activists Freak Out Over Street Parking

We all knew this was coming ...
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is planning to vote on a set of fare increases for subway, buses and parking today, The Associated Press reports.

From the AP:
Base subway fares are expected to climb 15 cents to $1.35, with the maximum rush hour fare rising 30 cents to $3.90. Local buses would cost $1.25, a nickel more, with express routes going to $3, up 50 cents. Parking fees at Metrorail stations would also increase. All the hikes are expected to take effect June 27.

Meanwhile, the City Council has been milling over a 30-page report on street parking and small changes to maximize the use of the city's 4,000 street spaces, The Washington Times reports.

Georgetown businesses believe that they will suffer regardless if changes are tiny. Up in Cleveland Park, residents say the extension of visitor hours in the neighborhood would cause havoc for residents needing a place to park. Meanwhile, churches are pissed off that parishioners are being ticketed on Sundays.

The Washington Times reminds its readers that the City Council voted two years ago to exempt itself from the city's parking regulations, giving the council the same parking courtesies given to Members of Congress.

WRC/NBC 4 says that employees who park for free in the District may be losing that privilege. City Councilman Phil Mendelson is proposing a $20 fee per parking space for employers. The rule would apply to the federal government, which has 30,000-40,000 parking spaces in the District. It's all in the name to improve air quality and get people on public transportation.

More information:
"Metro Expected to Hike Fares" [AP via WTOP]
"Parking solutions met by protest" [The Washington Times]
"D.C. Considers Fee For Employee Parking Spaces" [WRC/NBC 4]


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