Thursday, August 16, 2007

Meters or Zones?

District of Columbia is considering the old meter vs. zone fare question again. (actually Congress who likes every once & a while likes to flex its muscles by dictating policy TO the people who live here -- always popular with the population. Wouldn't you enjoy having people who are there for a few years telling your community how to live?)

"The legislation is the latest version of a measure that Sen. Carl Levin has backed since the 1980s. The Michigan Democrat opposes the District's zone fare system, which can be confusing to both residents and visitors. The rider usually was removed before passage of the budget bill, but this year, it survived votes in the House and Senate, and President George W. Bush is expected to sign it. Outgoing Mayor Anthony Williams has been studying meters, but Democratic mayoral nominee Adrian Fenty hasn't said whether he'd require them as mayor.Fenty -- who could take office in January -- is still awaiting the city's study on meter use, but sources have said he favors switching to meters as more simple and fair."

The majority of cab drivers seem to favor the zone system; with Congress, their hangers & tourists favoring meters. Personally I don't know that it would make much difference to me. Congress folk & friends move around downtown, where they get a flat rate of $7.50 whether they're going 3 blocks or 20. With a meter, those going only a few blocks would get a better deal. For our poorer population that mostly lives to the east & south of the center of town, the zone system lets them know exactly what they will pay, so they don't have to worry about running out of money before they get home.

As always, interesting to watch this develop.


At 12:29 PM, Blogger PalacePool said...

Look, the bottom line is that the consumer is going to be screwed either way. The house always wins. I took a VA cab with a meter from National to the pentagon parking lot and the bill was over 11$. this is about the same fare as a DC cab from the white house to national. Go figure.


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