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Posts from February 2010


Scenes of Washington: Masonic buildings

Scottish Rite Temple

Eastern Star Headquarters

Naval Lodge No. 4

Almas Temple

House of the Temple (Scottish Rite)

Grand Lodge (1908 - 1983)

Grand Lodge (1868 - 1908)

Potomac Lodge No. 5


What's That? #15

It's week #15 of What's That?

Each week I show small close-up photographs of three different well-known places in and around Washington, DC.

Post your guesses in the comments. Comments will be hidden until the winner is announced.


Brunch links: The quality of local coverage

Photo by tvancort.
Dr. Anti Anti-Car: On Twitter, @postmetro calls Gabe Klein the "anti-car czar." @ddotdc says that's "catchy but not accurate." Dr. Gridlock agrees: "Wanting city residents to have more choices for getting around ... and wanting to make the streets safer isn't anti-car." Tell that to Lon Anderson. (Get There)

Not enough war on drivers?: Someone abandoned a car during the snowstorm, and a week later, it was still blocking a lane of 15th Street NW near M Street now having been towed. (Crime Scene) ... Erik Wemple wonders why the Post headline sensationalized this as "near White House" when it's, well, not really.

Dr. Understanding Parking: Before answering a reader's question about which Metro station parking lots don't fill up early in the morning, Dr. Gridlock points out that I'd like WMATA to set prices so that this letter writer could potentially park at any lot.

Oh, snap, but no: Too bad the Examiner's reporting is so good, because their editorials aren't. The latest outrage is their "latest outrage," picking on a NJ-PA bike path as not stimulating enough "unless ... we're using rickshaws for shipping." Oh, so witty, yet so ignorant! (TheWashCycle, Bike League)

Now really not street-facing: Remember the mixed-use retail complex in Baltimore that had lousy urban design? Well, now it will have a Wal-Mart as well, while the developers have not addressed neighborhood requests to reduce street-facing blank walls. (The Daily Record)

And...: The housing and studios for artists in Brookland, Brookland Artspace Lofts, will soon break ground (Post, Pat O) ... Virginia's bill to ban non-hands-free cell phone usage is dead for this year (VA Bike) ... Arlington will launch a "Green Office Challenge" to recognize office buildings that best reduce their energy usage and waste. (City Renewed, Gavin Baker)

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Then and Now: The Kenesaw

The Kenesaw, located between 16th, Mt. Pleasant, and Irving Streets, has certainly been no stranger to controversy over the years.

Kenesaw Apartments (3060 16th St.)Kenesaw (February 2010)

It was designed by architects George W. Stone and Frank L. Averill. When a building permit was sought for the structure in March 1905, the District Commissioners met and refused to grant one, stating that they wanted the land to be used as a park and that 16th street should be reserved for fine residences. The following month, in a hearing before the District Supreme Court, Chief Justice Clabaugh ordered that a writ of mandamus be issued which compelled the building inspector to issue the building permit.

Years later, when the tenants attempted to buy the Kenesaw in May, 1978, and were about to sign a $750,000 contract with the help of the D.C. Development Corporation, the Nemac Corporation stepped in and initiated a bidding war which Nemac ultimately won for a selling price of $900,000.

By November, 1978, an arrangement was worked out where the D.C. Development corporation purchased the building on behalf of the tenants for $890,000 at which time the tenants would pay $25,000 in addition to the $150,000 they'd already set aside to Nemac Corporation ending its claim to the building.

Even so, the story did not end until October, 1984, when the tenants were finally able to buy the Kenesaw—valued at $2.8 million—and end a seven year battle with District officials. The seven year fight included periods of living in a half-finished building which at time had no heat or hot water.

Kenesaw Apartments (3060 16th St.) - Ground floor plan
(Ground floor plan)

Kenesaw Apartments (3060 16th St.)
(Historic images ca. 1909. From the author's collection)

Sources consulted:

Chase, Anne. "Low-Income Tenants Buy Mt. Pleasant Building." The Washington Post, Oct. 11, 1984, p. DC7.

Dickey, Christopher. "90 Tenants pay $25,000 On Building: Kenesaw Residents Use Cash Saved to Heat Apartments." The Washington Post, Nov. 14, 1978, p. C1.

"No Kenesaw Permit: Apartment House Not Wanted on Sixteenth Street." The Washington Post, Mar. 19, 1905, p. 11.

"Permit for Kenesaw: Writ Is Granted in the Apartment House Case." The Washington Post, Apr. 1, 1905, p. 12.

Public Spaces

Suggested fixes to Prince George's snow removal policies

The Prince George's County Council will soon convene a public meeting with officials from the Department of Public Works & Transportation (DPW&T) to discuss the county's response to and management of the recent back-to-back snowstorms in February 2010.

Photo from Prince George's DPW&T

The goal of this event, according to council chairman Thomas E. Dernoga (D-Dist. 1) and council member Samuel H. Dean (D-Dist. 6), is to review what happened and to determine what improvements are necessary to better handle future snow events.

On numerous occasions, I have personally experienced the negative ramifications of the county's currently inadequate and inefficient snow removal process, both as a pedestrian and a driver. Here are some suggestions for county officials to improve the snow removal process, particularly pedestrian and transit rider safety:

12 hours in denser areas: The County should immediately amend its sidewalk ordinance to state that all property owners and lawful occupants of vacant or improved lots in the Developed Tier and in Centers and Corridors are responsible for removing ice and snow from abutting sidewalks and away from abutting fire hydrants and drains within 12 hours after the precipitation ends (or by the immediately following noon, if the 12-hour period expires between 5:00 pm and 5:00 am).

  • Sidewalks should be cleared to a minimum width of four feet and, if ice cannot be removed, the pathway should be treated with salt, sand, or other de-icing material.
  • County inspectors (who could be specially trained, unpaid deputy volunteers, such as civic league members) should begin inspection/enforcement patrols no later than 18 hours after the precipitation ends.
  • Properties in violation of the sidewalk ordinance should be photographed, cited, and fined (no warnings) and ordered to comply no later than 36 hours after precipitation ends.
  • Properties not cleared by that point should be cleared by the county within 48-60 hours after precipitation, and the property should be assessed the costs of cleanup.
  • Elderly and disabled property owners and occupants should be able to have snow removed at the county's expense or for a reduced fee. Absent or vacationing property owners should likewise be able to register with the county for a reasonable fee to have snow removed from their sidewalks.
  • Street plowing in Centers and Corridors, and along commuter and school routes, should be done in a manner that will not obstruct sidewalks, bus stops, etc., even if that means that not all roadway lanes will be available. For example, a 2-lane road should be reduced to 1.5 lanes if plowing the full 2 lanes would block an adjoining sidewalk.
36 hours in other areas: All other county property owners (in the Rural and Developing tiers and outside of Centers and Corridors) should be required have snow and ice removed from sidewalks, fire hydrants, and drains within 36 hours after the snowfall.
  • Systematic enforcement by the county of the snow ordinance in these areas would be optional, but inspectors would follow up on reports/complaints from neighbors and cite property owners appropriately.
  • Properties found to be in violation should be ordered to comply within 18 hours following citation, and county cleanup would be provided within 36 hours following citation.
General policies:
  • The County should be fully prepared at all times to handle snowfalls with accumulations of up to 12 inches. If greater accumulation is anticipated, the county's contingency plans should be designed to marshal the necessary outside resources and private contractors so that its regular snow removal time frames are not extended by more than 24-36 hours.
  • All residential roadways in Centers and Corridors and in the Developed Tier should be made truly "passable" (i.e., no more than 3 inches of packed snow and properly salted/sanded) within 24-36 hours after a normal snowfall and should be plowed to bare pavement within 72 hours.
  • The county should implement snowplow-tracking technology, such as that used in Howard County, so that DPW&T and the residents have up-to-date, real-time information on snow removal progress.
  • County officials should post written updates on snow removal progress no fewer than once every eight hours for the duration of a snow emergency. It is inexcusable that even though the snow emergency that was declared on February 5 had still not been lifted as of February 18, the last official snow removal update we received from county officials was at 11:00 a.m. on February 10, in the midst of the second round of the blizzard.
  • Within 6 hours after a declaration of a snow emergency, and before the snow starts to cripple the community, cars parked on snow emergency routes and on the odd-numbered side of non-snow emergency routes should be ticketed and, if they would interfere with snow removal efforts, they should be towed.
Do you have additional or different suggestions?


WMATA budget deep dive, part 5: Is the fare fair?

Do WMATA fare hike and service cut proposals put a disproportionate burden on low income and minority populations?

Photo by cacaphony76.

WMATA General Manager John Catoe has proposed an FY11 budget that includes $89.2 million in fare increases and $33.7 million in rail and bus service reductions.

In a 2007 survey, WMATA found that Metrorail passengers had a median income of $102,000, were 75% white and only 1 in 50 did not own an automobile. In contrast, Metrobus passengers had a median income of $69,600, were 50% minority and one in five did not own an automobile.

The FY11 proposed budget contains fare hikes averaging a little over 15% for Metrorail passengers and has a target of $15.4 million in actual service reductions. In contrast, Metrobus fares are proposed to rise over 20% with service reductions of $18.3 million. These proposed bus service reductions translate to about 3.5% of Metrobus service compared to rail reductions of about 2%.

A closer look at the proposed bus service reductions finds that the African-American majority jurisdictions, the District of Columbia and Prince George's County, comprise $5.7 million of the proposed bus "subsidy savings." In contrast, Montgomery County and Virginia comprise only $3.8 million of the "subsidy savings." (The budget refers to the net saving from a proposal, including the predicted loss of ridership, as "subsidy savings," though it's not directly related to any jurisdiction's subsidy.)

The rest (bus stop changes, holiday schedule changes, late night service reductions and several routes that cross county lines in Maryland can't be easily broken down by county. However, even among these, the District leads with $2.6 million in subsidy reductions, followed by Maryland at $2 million and Virginia at about 0.9 million. These cuts roughly parallel the percentages of bus service in each jurisdiction.

Proponents argue that everyone must share in the pain and that bus service subsidies are much higher than rail subsidies so a greater percentage of bus service reductions and higher fare increases are justified. They argue that previous bus fare increases lagged rail fare increases. They further argue that since WMATA is composed of individual jurisdictions, the pain of bus service reductions should be spread evenly among those who pay the subsidies.

Opponents argue that Metrobus service costs less than Metrorail, runs more revenue miles and that it is subsidized at a higher rate because Metrorail service has replaced almost all the most productive bus routes. They further argue that you have to look at Metro as a single system and that the steps taken last year to provide two way fare discounts for transferring to rail and bus are a step in the right direction where this proposal is a step in the wrong direction. They say it's unfair to ask less well off riders to pay bigger fare increases and suffer more service reductions than the well-to-do and that it is particularly bad to ask in a recession.

Regardless of the merits of each position, it seems clear that low income, minority and the transit dependent will take a bigger hit if these proposals are implemented than wealthier, white transit riders who own autos.


Lessons from a South American Bus Rapid Transit system

Curitiba, a city of 1.8 million people, is the capital of the state of Paraná in Brazil. In late December, I visited Curitiba at my own expense and was briefed on its Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, one of the world's first and most highly-regarded. Because Montgomery County is studying BRT as an option for its residents, I wanted to find out how it is working in other communities. I found many positive aspects and some less positive.

Councilmember George Leventhal enters a bi-articulated express bus in Curitiba.

My sincere thanks to Silvia Mara Dos Santos Ramos of URBS (Urbanizacao de Curitiba, S/A), the city's transit agency, and André Vinicius Marchezetti of transportation consulting firm Logitrans, who were the guides for my visit. Officials at EMBARQ, a project of the World Resources Institute, and its Brazilian Center for Sustainable Transport were also extremely helpful in helping me make contact with the guides in Curitiba.

Positive aspects of the system

Curitiba's system is respected around the world and has inspired other BRT systems in Latin American cities including Bogota, Mexico City and Guatemala City, as well as U.S. cities including Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles. Click here to see a good overview of the system in Portuguese, but with easy-to-understand graphics. Click here to see a map of bus routes.

The genius of the city's plan is that on primary streets, the center two lanes of traffic have been reserved for buses. This enables the buses to avoid automobile traffic and move smoothly, with minimal interruption. "Tube" stations are placed every 500 meters along primary routes. A city law states that no resident may live more than 500 meters from a bus stop, so the primary and collector routes cover the entire residential area.

Inside a tube station. All photos from the author.

On the main bus line, the 351 tube stations are sleek and modern. Passengers pay when they enter the station, avoiding a delay when entering the bus. The buses are long, with several doors allowing passengers to enter and the bus doors correspond with several doors at each station, enabling speedy entrance to and egress from the buses. Buses on primary express routes are "bi-articulated," containing three cars with accordion-style dividers that enable them to navigate tight turns quickly and efficiently.

This video demonstrates a biarticulated bus navigating a tight turn.

Within the stations, bus stops are identified with a clear map similar to the Metro route map. A tourist like myself can easily navigate most of the city by following the bus route on a map. Unfortunately, because the buses are used on multiple routes and because the bus network covers so much territory, complete routes are not shown inside every bus.

A single fare of R$2.20 Brazilian Reals (US$1.22) enables a rider to take a single bus as far as it travels, even from Curitiba's furthest suburbs into the city center. Fare revenue accounts for 100 percent of Curitiba's operating budget. (Its capital budget—the cost of building the system—came from international investment including the World Bank and French Development Agency.)

Property values adjacent to the bus line have shown consistent increases when new express routes are constructed, increasing tax revenues to local governments. Buses utilize 20% Biodiesel to minimize emissions of carbon and other pollutants.

My son Daniel Leventhal rides the bus.

Less positive aspects of the system

Because the current system dates to 1974, the 29 primary bus terminals that facilitate transfers between collector and primary bus routes are aging. The two I visited were not especially attractive, and abundantly covered with graffiti.

Ms. Dos Santos told me that "the rich do not use the system much." Those who have access to the comfort and privacy of their automobiles opt out of using the BRT system. In general, I did not find the BRT experience comparable to fixed-rail systems in terms of comfort. Curitiba does not have a system like Metrorail, although there are plans to construct a rail line in time for the 2014 World Cup.

Taken from inside an express bus, this photo shows the division of the BRT lanes from automobile lanes.

Lessons for Montgomery County, Maryland

According to Ms. Dos Santos, the rate of automobile ownership in Curitiba is 22%, while transit usage is 40% and the balance of commuters travel by motorcycle or motor scooter, or walk. This helps to explain why ridership of the BRT system is so high and why farebox revenues cover operating costs.

By contrast, in Montgomery County, 66% of workers drive to work alone while only 14.9% commute by rail or bus, according to the 2008 American Community Survey.

Another important difference is the price of gasoline, which is substantially more expensive in Brazil (R$2.49 Brazilian Reals per liter, or approximately U.S. $5.20 per gallon, while I was there) than in the U.S., making automobile travel substantially less affordable for working Brazilians.

The critical question is whether increased frequency, speed and convenience would persuade enough Montgomery County residents to ride the bus to make the system financially sustainable. Even in Curitiba, where per capita income was $17,977 Brazilian Reals (U.S. $10,005) in 2006, upscale people do not ride the bus. And there are far more upscale people in Montgomery County, where per capita income is U.S. $35,684.

The county's current Ride-On bus system generates only approximately 15% of its revenue from fares, with the remainder subsidized from general tax revenues. The current budget crisis has highlighted the Ride-On system's significant expense to taxpayers, although the County Council has so far resisted cuts in Ride-On service proposed by the County Executive. How much more can we afford to expand the bus system even if the current 85% subsidy from all taxpayers decreased to a subsidy of 80%, 75% or lower?

Also relevant is that the county's bus storage and maintenance facility is at its absolute limit of available space, and a new storage and maintenance facility proposed for Clarksburg has been delayed because of concerns over runoff into Ten Mile Creek, so there is currently no place to store additional buses in the county.

An express bus departs from tube stations.

Curitiba has a long history of transit service, dating back to horse-drawn trolleys in 1887. Planning for 20 primary express bus routes began in 1966 and the system opened in 1974. For more than 35 years, primary roads have been designed to accommodate the BRT system. Municipalities in the Curitiba region served by URBS delegate management of the transit system to URBS, whose board members are appointed by the Mayor of Curitiba.

In Montgomery County, however, major roads would need to be redesigned to accommodate bus rapid transit. The state of Maryland's recent reconstruction of Route 29 represented a critical missed opportunity to develop express bus lanes in the middle.

Our county's primary roads (Route 29, New Hampshire Avenue, Georgia Avenue, Connecticut Avenue, Routes 28 & 198, Veirs Mill Road, University Boulevard, Wisconsin Avenue/Rockville Pike, and I-270) are owned, designed and maintained by the State Highway Administration. It would require close coordination between the county, the state and possibly the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) would be necessary to accomplish the BRT vision. Ridership will be a very important criterion for winning federal funding, but ridership is the key question regarding whether the system can succeed here.

Accommodating through automobile traffic on primary roads will be another key issue. Because the buses travel on a dedicated route, automobiles may not cross primary streets at every intersection. In Montgomery County, this will affect many neighborhood streets whose residents are accustomed to being able to cross major streets or make left and right turns to exit their neighborhoods—all of which could be restricted with rapid bus routes down the center of major streets.

My visit to Curitiba was a great experience and there is no question that I would love to see similar technology employed in Montgomery County. In the near term, I will advocate for BRT on Veirs Mill Road, which along with University Boulevard has just received a federal grant for bus transit improvements, and Georgia Avenue. I am also optimistic about prospects for BRT on the Inter County Connector and the proposal for BRT on Rockville Pike contained in the White Flint Sector Plan, now pending before the County Council.

On the other hand, my visit to Curitiba did not persuade me that BRT compares favorably to fixed-rail systems as an effective inducement for riders to leave their automobiles at home. I will continue to advocate strongly for light rail on the Purple Line and, while I understand that cost factors may ultimately persuade Governor O'Malley to select BRT for the Corridor Cities Transitway, my preference remains light rail for that system as well.

George Leventhal is an at-large member of the Montgomery County Council. He serves on the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee.


Breakfast links: Rolling backward

Photo from MCPL.
Leggett again chooses against walkability: County Executive Ike Leggett has decided to keep the Wheaton Library in an unwalkable area, reconstructing it in its current location instead of moving it to downtown Wheaton as the Sector Plan calls for.

No more rollback: The WMATA Board authorized installing rollback protection in the 5000-series rail cars. This will prevent crashes like the 2004 Woodley Park incident where an empty train rolled back into one with passengers at the platform.

Anti-transit GOP: Maryland Republicans' plan for the state's budget includes cutting funding for WMATA. Because getting people to work is not a conservative value. (Newschannel 8, Michael P)

Not another parking lot: A development plan for the closed Bruce Monroe Elementary in Columbia Heights is delayed from the economy. The Deputy Mayor's office wanted to turn it into a pay surface parking lot, but neighbors preferred some "temporary urbanism" like a park, temporary buildings with computer labs, or a farmers' market. Between neighbor opposition and Jim Graham, the Deputy Mayor has now backed down.

Parking full, no Metro for you: A Dr. Gridlock letter writer's daughter can't use Metro because the parking lots fill up early in the morning. Worse yet, you can't tell if there's room before entering and paying. The doc suggests some lots to try; this is also a good reason WMATA should set rates per-lot to equalize supply and demand. (Get There)

Farmers markets may become accessible to poor: WIC vouchers, which let low-income single mothers buy healthy produce, will now work at farmers' markets if states and markets participate. Unfortunately, Virginia declined, and DC only has one training, in Greenbelt, meaning many DC markets are likely to remain unavailable. (DC Food For All)

Bixi pix: BeyondDC recently took a trip to Montreal and has photos of Bixi, the largest North American bike sharing system, and one system DC might use. (BeyondDC)

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Lost Washington: Washington Airport

Before there was National Airport, there was the Washington Airport at Hoover Field. It was established in 1926 and located just west of today's intersection of the George Washington Parkway and the 14th Street Bridge.

Aerial View of South End of Highway Bridge, 14th Street Underpass Looking Northeast, 1932,
from Library of Congress.

The terminal, constructed in 1930, was built in the International Style and designed by architects Holden, Stott & Hutchinson. It was a frame structure with a brick veneer base and stucco walls. It was built at a cost of 50 cents per cubic foot, for a total cost of $29,187.78 for its 58,000 total cubic feet of space.

Upon completion in 1930, the terminal supported 50 sightseeing flights a day and 30 commercial fights. A few months after the terminal opened, Luddington Airlines (later absorbed by Eastern) began flights to New York "every hour on the hour." By 1931, the airport had 70 daily scheduled arrivals and departures, making it the busiest airport in the country.

Late October, 1935, witnessed the start of direct service between Washington and Chicago when American Airlines introduced the service. The duration of the flights were approximately four hours and via Cincinnati and Indianapolis. American's service was also the only one between the cities to have stewardesses in attendance and the only Chicago service using Douglas equipment.

The proposal for a safe and adequate government operated airport was introduced in Congress as early as 1927, but did not gain ground until 1938. This eventually resulted in construction of National Airport, which opened on July 16, 1941. With the opening of National, the old airport was no longer needed and razed. The grounds were purchased by the War Department for part of the Pentagon's grounds.

More images below.

Washington-Hoover Airport

Washington-Hoover Airport

Washington-Hoover Airport

Sources consulted:
"Airlines Start Direct Service D.C.-to-Chicago: American's New Schedule Brings Western City Within 4 Hours." The Washington Post, November 3, 1935, MA7.

Goode, James M. "Washington Hoover Airport Terminal." In Capital Losses, 460-461. Washington: Smithsonian Books, 2003.

"Washington Airport Washington, D.C." The Architectural Forum, December 1930, 735-736.


WMATA budget deep dive, part 4: A better fare increase?

WMATA's $87.9 million fare increase would drive away an estimated 15.1 million trips over the year. Is there a way to raise similar amounts of revenue but reduce ridership loss?

Photo by slack13.

Some riders are more price-sensitive than others. According to WMATA, Metrorail fare increases in the peak period generate a smaller percentage of passenger loss than off peak or weekend fare increases.

Peak riders can often afford more and are less inclined to switch to driving; plus, the system is already very crowded at peak times, which is when there's no extra capacity. Setting fares higher at peak and lower off-peak could also help encourage more riders to schedule trips outside of rush hour that would relieve crowding and may ultimately lead to lowering operating costs.

One new component of the Metrorail peak fare increase is a "peak of the peak" fare surcharge of 10¢ across the board. This surcharge would apply during the busiest 1½-hour period in the morning and evening peak periods.

This proposal adds between 2% and 6% to the cost of a rail trip, depending on distance traveled, in addition to the general 15% increase in rail fares. It generates about $5 million in net revenue, but only projects to lose about 400,000 riders per year.

"Peak of the peak" fares have generated interest among transit advocates for three reasons:

  • Many federal employees (over 40% of peak period riders) do not use their full monthly transit allotment and this would be a way to get a greater federal subsidy for WMATA without a financial impact on many peak period riders.
  • The premium charge would encourage those riders able to do so to move onto the "shoulders" of the peak period. This could potentially save WMATA operating costs by spreading the ridership more evenly across the peak period.
  • It increases revenue to a cash-starved system with minimal ridership loss.
A group of advocates from Greater Greater Washington and MetroRiders.Org have asked WMATA to evaluate a larger "peak of the peak" than 10¢, up to as much as 50¢.

Another short-term revenue enhancement would be to introduce a differential between paper farecards and SmarTrip cards on the rail similar to the cash fare/smart trip differential on Metrobus. A $0.10 differential would raise about $2.5 million in FY 11, according to WMATA. Returns in future years diminish as casual users of the system adapt. Some transit advocates (including the GGW/MRO group) have argued for this approach because it targets "tourists" to some extent, and encourages greater SmarTrip use over time.

Despite the massive size of the fare increase and ridership losses, it is possible to make small changes and mitigate substantial portions of the ridership loss.

Here's one example:

  • Increase "peak of the peak" fare surcharge from $0.10 to $0.15
  • Institute a $0.10 surcharge for paper farecards
  • Reduce off-peak rail fare increase from $0.20 to $0.15
  • Reduce base SmarTrip bus fare increase from $0.20 to $0.15 and reduce pass prices accordingly
  • Eliminate proposal to reduce "rail to bus" and "bus to bus" transfers from 3 hours to 2 hours
The effect of these changes creates revenue of $82.2 million as opposed to the original proposal's $87.9 million—about a 8% decrease. On the other hand, the changes save approximately 38% of the total projected ridership losses from the fare increases (about 5.8 million riders).

Alternate fare option. Compare to the chart here.
Changes from WMATA's proposal are in yellow. Revenue and ridership in millions.

Unfortunately, it is not so easy to saving the other 9.3 million riders lost. Instead, it would likely take substantial contributions from the jurisdictions that make up WMATA, an infusion of federal funds or some other large source of funds. Those are the only ways to offset the bulk of these proposed fare increases and bring them back down to the $35 million range originally planned two years ago.

Next: Is the fare increase fair to riders?

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