Transit on Thursday

nytimes dc taxi picThe New York Time’s Ariel Sabar has an article on today’s switch-over to time-distance meters for Washington DC cabs: Adopting Meters, Washington Ends Taxi Zone System. The first few graphs:

Over the objections of cabdrivers, the District of Columbia is set on Thursday to scrap its seven-decade-old method of calculating taxi fares. Conventional time-and-distance meters will replace a system based on geographic zones.

The District was the only major American city to base fares on how many zones a cab crossed. Many riders, particularly out-of-town visitors, found the system of 23 zones confusing. Critics said it was too easy for unscrupulous drivers to overcharge.

‘The riding public asked for a more transparent fare system, and the mayor responded,’ Leon J. Swain Jr., chairman of the Taxicab Commission, said in a phone interview. Continue reading . . . 

Back up in New York the Times also covers a revision to the subway map made by Massimo Vignelli for the May edition of Men’s Vogue.

ny metro map comparions

Returning to DC, the WMATA subway and bus authority considered expanding our own system after the Feds breathed new steam into the planned Silver Line from Falls Church to Dulles International Airport and beyond to Loudoun County, the fastest growing country in the US recent years.

dc metro 2030 view

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2 Responses to “Transit on Thursday”

  1. bob previdi says:

    I am curious about this “crowding” I am hearing about.
    I am a former transit planner at NYC Transit and WMATA keeps the passengers per car around 90
    which is just slightly over a seated load.
    My concern with this is that there is an awful lot of empty seats running around during the shoulder of the peak hour.
    Those empty seats are wear and tear on the system. If the problem is just 8-9 am then you really should tollerate more standees – because the cost of those empty seats in the long run will come back to bite you when you have to replace those cars. Car miles add up very quiclkly.
    To me these 75 foot cars could easily handle 120 per car and that would get you almost 1,000 per train and that still – to me – is not crowded. Full yes, crowded no.
    At 26 trains per hour that would leave capasity currenlty 16,000 and under the blue split, 20,000 (I believe they are looking at 6 via Rosslyn 4 via bridge). Currently the Orange is 10,500 in the peak hour – 1/2 of what it could comfortable handle – in my humble NY opinion.
    I do like the idea of trains not being as packed as NY.
    But I also think the other extreme of trying to get everyone a seat can be too costly to the operation and future capital procuements.
    Now this idea of splitting the blue is a good one and I like your idea of swapping terminals at the south end – but how hard will that be for current FS and Huntington users?
    I think just a dotted yellow line marked rush hours only would do the trick without much heartache.
    Your northern terminal at Ft Totten will not work however. The reason WMATA does this only during non rush hours is because they are turning on the main line. There is no middle track like north of Mt Vernon or east of Staduim. You really can’t turn that many trains on the main line particularly with so many trains comming south.
    thx

  2. nathaniel says:

    Response to Bob follows up in length email conversation that is still ongoing. Remind me and I’ll excerpt some of that (and the conclusions) here.