Talkin' Transit, The Features, WMATA

Talkin Transit: Parking Power

Photo courtesy of Cowtools
DC Transit System Map, courtesy of Cowtools

So another Inauguration Day hype has been deflated. Metro announced that they’ll be opening up thousands of parking spaces for cars at all Metrorail stations (save one) for Inauguration Day festivities. The prophesied “parkapocalypse” has been debunked.

So what happened?

When setting up initial plans for January 20th, WMATA set aside roughly sixty thousand parking spaces for charter buses. Estimates had over 1,100 of the big behemoths coming into the area, so naturally, where does one park so many buses? Metrorail stations, that’s where.

However, WMATA has only received THIRTY FIVE requests – that’s less than half of one percent of the inflated estimate – and is no longer taking requests. As a result, Metro opened the parking floodgates.

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Downtown, Talkin' Transit, The District, WMATA

Talkin’ Transit: Woolen Wonderland

Photo courtesy of Saff anna
How much does a segway?, courtesy of Saff anna

Metro musings, charter bus parking, meter rates rising…five goooooold rings!

*ahem* ‘Scuse me.

So Jim Graham’s pushing to pop downtown meter rates to $2 an hour. Additionally, the DC Council is considering ditching the District’s long-standing practice of free meter parking on the weekends in the downtown core.

The rate increase isn’t for additional revenue, however. Graham noted that it’s “about finding more money for a specific compelling need in the city,” specifically a funding resource for the affordable housing projects in the District. Such projects include programs for first-time home buyers and permanent supportive housing for the homeless.

Other thinking is that the higher rates would discourage commuters from the ‘cheaper’ parking alternative to the expensive garages and open up more spaces for shoppers. Current meter rates in the District are a lot cheaper than other downtown cores, such as New York, Philadelphia and Chicago.

Hey, if the revenue is used as suggested, I’m all for it.

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All Politics is Local, Talkin' Transit, The District, WMATA

WMATA Talks Inauguration

Photo courtesy of afagen
Working better to serve YOU, courtesy of afagen

Metro dropped a press release today outlining tentative plans for Inauguration Day.

That’s right, “tentative plans.” Since we still don’t have any official word on expectations (ranging from the FBI’s 800,000 to Mayor Fenty’s 4 million), it’s kinda useless to plan anything at this point. But I’ll give Catoe and Co. credit – at least they’re trying to do something about it.

I mean, it’s more important than escalator repair, right?

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