Autumn on Lake Audobon

Autumn on Lake Audobon
Autumn on Lake Audubon, Photo by Alison Kamat

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Commuting costs to downtown on the Silver Line will cost you more.

WMATA and the Fairfax Connector have now posted their fares for Phase 1 rail and bus service in Reston.  We have taken the opportunity to calculate what that will mean for the thousands of Restonians who commute to Washington, DC, or other similar distances on the Silver Line.  In every case, peak period fares will be much more expensive than the current combined bus and rail Fairfax Connector to West Falls Church Metrorail station and then downtown, which costs about $2,120 annually for a 200-day work year.  (Most work years are longer, but most commuters also take time for vacation, illness, business trips, etc., which lower the annual commuting cost.)  

In fact, Restonians' commuting costs could nearly double depending on which option they take.  Here's the rundown:
  • Current rail and bus users will see a nearly 40% increase over current round-trip costs (from $10.60 to $14.80 per day).  Annually, the total will be $2,960.
  • For those who park in the Wiehle Garage rather than ride the bus to the station, daily costs will increase a whopping 56% (to $16.55).  That works out to $3,130 a year.
  • Costs for riders with a reserved parking space in the garage will nearly double (rising to an average of $20.45 per day, a 92% increase).  They will face a total annual cost of $4,090.
(Click on image for larger view.)

Moreover, while Fairfax Connector has set lower 50-cent fares for routes around the Tysons Metro stations -- and will even offer free transfers from rail to Connector buses on those three Tysons routes, at least for an introductory period -- similar discounted fares and free transfers will NOT be offered in Reston, not even on Route 505 between Reston Town Center and Wiehle Station.  Instead, the standard fare for all local Reston routes will INCREASE 15 cents each way. 

2 comments:

  1. So my commute time does not decrease, yet now I'm going to be paying $4.75 more per day just to get to work. Why can't we call the metro system a monopoly? We have no options as consumers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So much bad news. But the comparison neglected a few other options. What about folks that can bike or walk to the new station. While these would be a minority, shouldn't biking and walking be encouraged?
    As for the "monopoly" post - there's normally a drive-to-work option. Vote with your dollars.
    -SCS

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