Public Transportation: At What Cost?

I know what you are thinking but that is not what I am thinking.

I’m thinking about safety.

There has been this  huge push in the District of Columbia to get residents, commuters and visitors to get out of their cars and use public transportation.  Sounds great, right?

For those who have read this blog for sometime, you know I used public transportation for about three years commuting to and from work.  I live in the city but work in the suburbs.  The best thing about my commute (besides the federal transportation subsidy – which was great!) was that I traveled in the opposite direction of traffic.  So I always had a seat.

But towards the end of that three year experience, I became a little frustrated with fellow commuters who wouldn’t follow the rules: no eating, no drinking, no smoking, no playing music or any electronic device without ear plug so you don’t disrupt other commuters.  These rule breakers were annoying.

But now, frankly, I’m reluctant to ride Metrorail or Metrobus because of safety issues.  The most recent incident: a man targeted a woman boarding a Metrobus killing the young mother as she carried her 23-month infant.  The mother was shot three times.  The extent of the injuries to the 23-month old is unclear.

Before that, there was a high-profile killing near the Woodley Park-Zoo Metro station over a jacket or some other article of clothing.  A 18 year old-young man was stabbed to death.  He and his friends were attacked by thugs.  The most alarming part of the story (through subsequent investigation) was that the thugs had weapons stored near the metro station.  Really scary.

And, then meanwhile, in a certain part of town, young punks regularly toss rocks as Metrobuses drive through the community.  A few bus drivers have been injured.  At one point, Metro or WMATA announced it would suspend bus service to this area of town after 8:00 p.m.  Residents and politicians were outraged.  WMATA has backed down.  Meanwhile, where’s the outrage toward the young punks who are making life difficult for WMATA and area residents who rely on public transportation?  And where are their parents?

This pattern of violence has made me weary of taking public transportation (which is so convenient).  But should I risk life and limb?  I think not.

I am a huge fan of The Washington Nationals and taking Metro to the game is the smartest choice.  But I am risk averse.  So, I am making a life style choice by attending games on Sundays only.  Why?  Free street parking.

It’s really sad when certain residents makes public transportation non-attractive.

I guess I will have to wait another 3-5 years and things will be completely different.  One news report stated approximately 1,000 individuals per month are moving into the District of Columbia.  With such a huge influx of new money coming into the city, a certain element will be forced out.  And taking public transportation may be worthwhile again.


1 Comment

  1. December 14, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Reblogged this on The Money Heifer.

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