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A friend of mine at Baylor wants to get a monthly metro pass to use on the rail. Baylor offers a subsidized monthly pass for $10 per month or something like that. The only problem is that we were told it's only valid for the busses not the rail. They said she could find a bus, get on, get a transfer, get off, then go to the rail, but she was not allowed to board the rail with the monthly pass. Doesn't this seem ridiculous? Does anybody know why this is? And what other options are there for a monthly metro RAIL pass? The bad part is it probably won't be subsidized.

Why would Baylor give their employees tickets that are valid for busses only, when the rail is so close to Baylor?

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Metro wants to track ridership specific for rail. The only way they can do this is to have people purchase tickets on a per day/ride basis. Of course I frequently ride it downtown and vary rarely see some of the riff-raff buy tickets before they board.

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From what I understand, you must validate the pass on a bus or at a METRO RideStore (like at the Downtown Transit Center) the very first time you use it so that an expiry date will be printed on it. All future uses on METRORail do not require pre-validation.

http://www.ridemetro.org/Fare_Information/fare_facts.asp

http://www.ridemetro.org/Fare_Information/fare_guide.asp

If you're still not sure, call the RideStore: http://www.ridemetro.org/contact/index.asp

Also, despite what many people may think, fare evasion is very low on METRORail: http://www.ridemetro.org/News/METROConnect...ul07/070702.asp

Yes, the Q Card, which is being rolled out, will resolve some of these fare issues. Supposedly you can get one now and start using it to earn 5 free trips per 50 paid trips.

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What she was told was that she had to validate it on a bus each time she uses it. I know they are supposed to be transitioning to Q cards (I have one from Rice) but apparently Baylor is giving out some kind of old pass that requires you to ride a bus first and transfer to the rail (which doesn't work in her case).

Maybe they were wrong and you only have to validate it once on a bus like you said. The metro site said the following:

TIME-ACTIVATED PASSES

These provide both savings and convenience with unlimited rides on METRO during the consecutive number of days covered by the pass: 7 and 30 days for Local and METRORail services and 30 days for Express and Park & Ride services. The bus farebox activates the pass the first time you insert it and prints the expiration date on it. Before you use the pass as proof of purchase on METRORail, you must activate it in this way. METRO does not issue transfers or Day Passes with these passes.

Isn't that kind of stupid? Who wants to waste their time wating for a bus just so they can validate a Metro ticket and ride the rail? Does anybody know when Metro will go 100% Q Card?

From what I understand, you must validate the pass on a bus or at a METRO RideStore (like at the Downtown Transit Center) the very first time you use it so that an expiry date will be printed on it. All future uses on METRORail do not require pre-validation.

http://www.ridemetro.org/Fare_Information/fare_facts.asp

http://www.ridemetro.org/Fare_Information/fare_guide.asp

If you're still not sure, call the RideStore: http://www.ridemetro.org/contact/index.asp

Also, despite what many people may think, fare evasion is very low on METRORail: http://www.ridemetro.org/News/METROConnect...ul07/070702.asp

Yes, the Q Card, which is being rolled out, will resolve some of these fare issues. Supposedly you can get one now and start using it to earn 5 free trips per 50 paid trips.

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  • 10 months later...
I'm trying to figure out why METRO doesn't offer a flat-rate monthly pass like many other cities?

I don't know, I stopped riding the rail when they stopped issuing passes and went to the Q-Card. It would have been the same price as I pay to park downtown.

$40 Metro + $35 Fannin South Lot = $75. I pay $80 and change for the Kim Son parking garage.

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I'm trying to figure out why METRO doesn't offer a flat-rate monthly pass like many other cities?

They used to, but they want more money, so now it is the Q Card. You can use this on anything Metro. I have one through my firm. I barely use it and the times I do use it, is when I use the rail. All you do is hold it up to a scanner and jump on the train.

Edited by Daniepwils
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I'd prolly use it more if I could fix my costs, probably something METRO rails against.

I took 202 from Kuykendahl P&R all last week for jury duty and it was a breeze downtown in 17 minutes flat. But, if I worked there and had to pay full fare of $1.50 - $3 each way, not sure what advantage it would be. Maybe it would still work out as I'd not have the wear and tear on my auto and wouldn't have to worry about parking.

Note: In the afternoons, when I was coming back, catching a bus with seats was almost impossible. The one good thing, they run every 5 minutes or less. But I was waiting and waiting under a blistering sun mainly because I didn't want to stand up all the way home for 21 miles.

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Instead of increasing its base fare, METRO decided to simply eliminate discounted fares, which were available via the weekly, monthly and annual passes (365-day, 52-day, etc). People were getting such a discount on fares that many were paying considerably less than the base fare and some as little as 30% of what the fare was supposed to be. Given that METRO hadn't instituted a fare change since 1994 (I believe) and operating expenses have increased signficantly since that time, they felt the need to make a change to its fare policy to help recoup some of their expenses

Personally, I'm of the opinion that most customers probably would've adapted more favorably to a change to the local base fare and even the Park & Ride base fares (there are four of them, each one based on a fare applicable to the distance of the Park & Ride lot to the rider's destination).

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My wife and I debated the P&R. Well, we tried to. Ultimately, the P&R won in every catagory:

1. My wife works downtown for Chase, and its $12.00 to park in her building's garage, or she can park up to 6 blocks away for as little as $5.00 daily.

To take the Kingsland P&R it's $3.50 each way, or $7.00 total. A cost savings of up to $5.00 dollars a day compared to parking.

2. It's approximately 21 miles from our house via the Westpark Toll/US59/Spur527 to her office and takes approximately 60 to 90 minutes each way, or 2.5 hours/150 minutes.

Her drive to the Kingsland P&R is 15 minutes, with lights and "rush-hour" traffic. So a time savings of up 120 minutes, or 2 hours each day of her having to drive. She's ruled that getting on the bus counts as the beginning of her work day, and not as part of the commute. She considers it a quiet time where she can prepare for the day/unwind afterwards. I tend to agree as she experiences no stress of a commute while she has her ipod on, travels with all other business class in the nicest of METRO's charter bus fleet, and has no worry over any traffic issues. She comes home full of energy and ready to spend the evening doing activities with her family, where as if she drove home for 90 minutes, in the heat, driving a standard transmission, she would be tired and cranky from the commute.

3. Gas cost and usage downtown would be approximately 1.5 gallons each way, or approximately $11.00 dollars a day on fuel. This is not counting wear and tear of the vehicle from stop-and-go traffic either from the 42 mile a day commute.

We burn less than 1 gallon a day, versus the 3, for a cost savings of approximately $7.00 dollars. The car also only travels 8 miles each way, or 16 miles for a total daily commute (only 4000 approximate miles per year). That saves at least 6000 miles of wear and tear from stop-and-go traffic on our car.

So the total daily roundtrip breakdown is this..

Park & Ride vs. Commute - Total (Approximate) Yearly Savings:

16 miles vs. 42 miles - 6000 miles saved on the car, which I estimate saves us approximately $600.00 in annual maintenance (oil changes, tire rotation, etc..)

30 minutes vs. 150 minutes - 500 hours saved (from driving*)

>1 gallon of gas ($4.00) vs. 3 gallons of gas ($11.00) - $1750.00 saved on gas

$7.00 P&R Fee vs. $12.00 Downtown Parking - $1250.00 saved on parking

So the total savings for my wife to not drive, but to instead take the P&R is approximately $3600.00 dollars in gas, parking, and vehicle wear. Also, we can literally keep the car longer since we are not putting up to 6000 additional miles on the vehicle. That cuts the milage in half and potentially doubles the life of the vehicle.

*Its worth noting that it takes about the same amount of time for my wife to get to work by commuting as it does using the entire P&R experience (driving to the P&R, parking, walking, waiting for the bus, riding the bus, getting off, walking to work). Its just less stressful as she spends the majority of the P&R experience being chauffeured. She also enjoys the walking.

So, that's just our experience with the METRO P&R system. I'm sure it differs for most, but I imagine it still saves for most as well.

Edited by Jeebus
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My wife and I debated the P&R. Well, we tried to. Ultimately, the P&R won in every catagory:

1. My wife works downtown for Chase, and its $12.00 to park in her building's garage, or she can park up to 6 blocks away for as little as $5.00 daily.

To take the Kingsland P&R it's $3.50 each way, or $7.00 total. A cost savings of up to $5.00 dollars a day compared to parking.

2. It's approximately 21 miles from our house via the Westpark Toll/US59/Spur527 to her office and takes approximately 60 to 90 minutes each way, or 2.5 hours/150 minutes.

Her drive to the Kingsland P&R is 15 minutes, with lights and "rush-hour" traffic. So a time savings of up 120 minutes, or 2 hours each day of her having to drive. She's ruled that getting on the bus counts as the beginning of her work day, and not as part of the commute. She considers it a quiet time where she can prepare for the day/unwind afterwards. I tend to agree as she experiences no stress of a commute while she has her ipod on, travels with all other business class in the nicest of METRO's charter bus fleet, and has no worry over any traffic issues. She comes home full of energy and ready to spend the evening doing activities with her family, where as if she drove home for 90 minutes, in the heat, driving a standard transmission, she would be tired and cranky from the commute.

3. Gas cost and usage downtown would be approximately 1.5 gallons each way, or approximately $11.00 dollars a day on fuel. This is not counting wear and tear of the vehicle from stop-and-go traffic either from the 42 mile a day commute.

We burn less than 1 gallon a day, versus the 3, for a cost savings of approximately $7.00 dollars. The car also only travels 8 miles each way, or 16 miles for a total daily commute (only 4000 approximate miles per year). That saves at least 6000 miles of wear and tear from stop-and-go traffic on our car.

So the total daily roundtrip breakdown is this..

Park & Ride vs. Commute - Total (Approximate) Yearly Savings:

16 miles vs. 42 miles - 6000 miles saved on the car, which I estimate saves us approximately $600.00 in annual maintenance (oil changes, tire rotation, etc..)

30 minutes vs. 150 minutes - 500 hours saved (from driving*)

>1 gallon of gas ($4.00) vs. 3 gallons of gas ($11.00) - $1750.00 saved on gas

$7.00 P&R Fee vs. $12.00 Downtown Parking - $1250.00 saved on parking

So the total savings for my wife to not drive, but to instead take the P&R is approximately $3600.00 dollars in gas, parking, and vehicle wear. Also, we can literally keep the car longer since we are not putting up to 6000 additional miles on the vehicle. That cuts the milage in half and potentially doubles the life of the vehicle.

*Its worth noting that it takes about the same amount of time for my wife to get to work by commuting as it does using the entire P&R experience (driving to the P&R, parking, walking, waiting for the bus, riding the bus, getting off, walking to work). Its just less stressful as she spends the majority of the P&R experience being chauffeured. She also enjoys the walking.

So, that's just our experience with the METRO P&R system. I'm sure it differs for most, but I imagine it still saves for most as well.

Okay, I am totally impressed.

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I'd prolly use it more if I could fix my costs, probably something METRO rails against.

I took 202 from Kuykendahl P&R all last week for jury duty and it was a breeze downtown in 17 minutes flat. But, if I worked there and had to pay full fare of $1.50 - $3 each way, not sure what advantage it would be. Maybe it would still work out as I'd not have the wear and tear on my auto and wouldn't have to worry about parking.

Note: In the afternoons, when I was coming back, catching a bus with seats was almost impossible. The one good thing, they run every 5 minutes or less. But I was waiting and waiting under a blistering sun mainly because I didn't want to stand up all the way home for 21 miles.

That's because Metro got rid of fifty-four sixty foot articulated coaches that were about 14 years old but in very good condition. The only downside is that they were extremely slow on take-off. These buses were used on the 202, 204, and 214 P&R routes but also on the 102 as well.

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