Wednesday February 20, 2008

Miami-Dade Transit is out of its sodding mind: I recently noticed that parking at MetroRail stations is $4. With $1.50 per ticket, you’re looking at $7 per day round trip for a commute. In a 30 mpg car, this same trip, 10.8 miles x 2, will run you around $2.20 at today’s gas prices. So what person in their right mind would take the rail?

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  1. Duran    Wed Feb 20, 11:45 AM #  

    You want to keep parking fees high to encourage users to use alternative means to getting to a station such as buses or carpooling. Many stations have specific pick-up/drop-off lanes for this reason.

    Also there is a way around the $4 a day fee: buy a MetroPass and you only pay like $7 for a parking decal for the month.



  2. Smarty    Wed Feb 20, 11:48 AM #  

    But you forgot to figure in the parking fee when you reach downtown with your car.



  3. Miguel Marcos    Wed Feb 20, 12:02 PM #  

    A car does not get 30 mpg in a city, much less during rush hour. Or have you calculated that in?

    Plus what about payments and insurance/maintenance?

    (Not to say the parking fee is justified, just that car expense is not so cheap. Or maybe I missed something…)



  4. DCvision    Wed Feb 20, 12:15 PM #  

    I agree with the post… about the only way for metrorail to be worth it is if you can bike-rail-bike your way to work… otherwise.. difficult to make economic sense



  5. DJ_Kremlin    Wed Feb 20, 12:23 PM #  

    I use the metro daily. I use it between Dadeland No. and Government Center.

    My company has a garage and I do not have to pay for parking in Downtown.

    I do buy the metropass.

    It does come out to be a bit more expensive to take the train, however, It’s worth it to me just to avoid the monster traffic and shave approx 30 – 45 minutes off of my commute!



  6. Mike aka MEFX1    Wed Feb 20, 01:29 PM #  

    it’s the Miami paradox…anything remotely good here turns out horribly wrong. From a good idea to a crashing failure…this is the Miami curse.



  7. alesh    Wed Feb 20, 02:25 PM #  

    Duran~

    If they wanted to encourage use of alternate means of getting to the station, why have parking at all? Or why not get rid of EVERYTHING to encourage bike use and walking? MetroRail RIDERSHIP is what they should be trying to encourage, so why not a big free parking garage??

    Smarty et al.~

    I didn’t forget, I left that out on purpose. Of course it costs something to park downtown, but like Kremlin, many folks have businesses that compensate them for the parking.

    In any case, even after wear/tear, insurance, parking, and milage adjustments, you see that the deal is somewhat wack.

    A plausible way to look at this is that they’re keeping US-1 so congested so they can gouge people on outlandish parking fees.

    ALSO: Metropass is $75 per month!! That means it ONLY makes sense if you make more then 50 trips per month on the rail/bus, which is VERY few people, and probably almost nobody who has a car. ABSURD.

    If they wanted to encourage TRANSIT USE they’d price the Metropass to cost about the equivalent of riding two-ways every other day. Thus they get lots of casual users to sign up, who then are encouraged to ride more then they regularly wood.

    In other words, the transit pricing structure is designed to maximize profits, not to maximize ridership. If our government cared about the environment this would be exactly backwards.



  8. KidBass    Wed Feb 20, 03:49 PM #  

    Our local government always thinks backwards. In instances they don’t think at all.



  9. adam    Thu Feb 21, 09:48 AM #  

    there is really no reason that metropass should be so expensive. If you carpool to work a few times it is no longer worth it. They should either drastically decrease the price and/or have a paycard like other cities that is refillable. You could then get parking discounts for x amount of money added or something.



  10. Dave    Thu Feb 21, 02:58 PM #  

    Obviously the metropass is waaaay too expensive and the weird thing is, is that if you buy the $75 metropass (a trip is only $1.50) you get the parking pass for like $10 (parking costs $4 for one day). So why make buying a parking pass so much of a better buy than buying a metropass?

    On the other hand people who take the metrorail are getting to work in about half the time as people who drive. Dadeland to Downtown at rush hour is only a 15 – 20 minute ride on the train but about and hour if you drive.

    By the way for comparisons sake a monthly metropass in Boston only costs $59 where their per-trip price is $2. New York charges $76 a month for their pass but it costs $2 per trip so its still a better value (and obviously a much better system).



  11. anon.    Sat Feb 23, 12:33 PM #  

    The metrorail is amazing commute. Best commute in Miami. That said the metropass and the parking are too expensive.



  12. the truth    Mon Feb 25, 05:08 PM #  

    Wow, you guys go live in NY and then go complain.



  13. alesh    Mon Feb 25, 08:13 PM #  

    What’s to complain? As Dave says, the monthly pass costs you as much as it does here, and very much unlike here it gets you EVERYWHERE. Remnants of NY subway seediness are icing. Still, I might just take you up on the idea.



  14. Libertarian Girl    Tue Feb 26, 02:54 PM #  

    Public transit is more expensive than that in many other cities in the world— try London, for starters. A day’s roundtrip will cost you twice that for an American buying in pounds and there will be no parking lots at stations.

    The price is high because the system cost billions in taxpayer dollars to build and has to make some of that back. It would be irresponsible not to. It would also be irresponsible to make people who don’t use the system have to completely pay for it, hence the fees.

    There’s a certain resistance point where if you make the price higher, you’ll lose more riders and therefore more money than if you kept the price low. That’s usually best judged by private companies in business and woefully mismanaged by public entities.



  15. alesh    Tue Feb 26, 03:19 PM #  

    True fact: I’m a registered libertarian. Says so on my voter ID. Over the years, though, I’ve mellowed out and realized that there are certain things that only the government can do, regardless of how fucked up it generally is and how wastefully it does them.

    The correct libertarian rant would not be in support of high prices, but against the existence of public transportation. Other cities have all-private mass transit systems (Bogota has a million private busses, each one a little different).