Last week in Washington, DC, the Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s council has done something almost unheard of: it offers riders more service for less money.
During u Covid-19 pandemic, since the crashing pilot caused financial problems, the agency has reduced the service of the metro and buses in the area. He now promised to increase buses and trains on weekdays, weekends and late nights, with some bus lines operating even more often than they had done before the pandemic. Meanwhile, pilots pay a flat fare of $ 2 on weekends instead of a fare based on the travel route, do not have to pay for bus transfers, and will receive a break on weekly bus passes. The plan “will better respond to the needs of existing riders, reflect new travel patterns and lifestyle changes, as well as attract returning and new customers,” the The subway chief said.
Those new travel patterns remain unclear. But officials in Washington and elsewhere are reflecting on the roles that buses, subways and trains play in cities transformed by a one-year public health crisis. They want to win back the knights in time – and are willing to try a few strategies ready to do it.
Agencies in Boston, Cleveland, Las Vegas, u San Francisco Bay Area, and New Orleans they offer reduced fares or free trips, temporarily, to attract people to transit. Others have considered abolishing prices. Los Angeles is exploring a 23-month-old pilot which will give students and low-income residents free travel. The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority dropped fares in March 2020 and does not plan to report them. “The return on investment for empathy, compassion, for social equity far exceeds the return on investment for cement and asphalt,” Robbie Makinen, CEO of the agency, said Stateline last week.
Others have taken up the goal of an even more sacred cow: the service of rush hour.
Historically, carriers carrying luggage have been the first destination public for transit. So that public transit it was designed to meet their needs. The trains of the bankers, which ran between the suburbs and the business districts of the city center, ran more frequently during rush hour. Agencies bought more buses and subway cars to deal with the rush hour crowd, and sometimes paid drivers more just to get in a few hours during rush hour travel times. They created parking services, to help people who were driving part of the way to work but didn’t want to deal with traffic in dense cities.
Now the future of rush hour is complicated. Large employers such as Apple, Amazon and American Express have said they will continue to allow workers telecommute a few days a week, even after most are vaccinated and the offices are reopened. On average, it meant a smaller crowd than peak hours. Meanwhile, planners have noted an increased interest in off-peak service since the middle of the moment, and they have begun to redesign the service to make it more useful to people who do shift work, who do errands after school, or who travel on social occasions.
Agencies use the turbulent pandemic recovery period to inaugurate calendar changes. In Los Angeles, officials at Metra, the local travel line, said this month that they would try new programs that “move away” from the pre-pandemic, peak-hour norm, “in favor of a more balanced approach ”so that the spaces form more evenly throughout the day. In Boston, April officials followed up with pre-pandemic plans and began managing more frequent commuter trains outside the 9- to 5-year-old hours. It is part of a larger vision to transform the system into a fairer regional rail network that serves more than the traditional office worker. Off-peak riders are more likely to be immigrants, women, people of color, and a lower income. The pandemic, like the local defense group TransitMatters he observed, may have given the local agency the “political space” to make changes planned for so long. There are fewer people complaining now that operators have removed their specific train.