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855

join:2000-12-05
703

1 edit

Working at the Pentagon soon. Metro rail cost?

I am starting a new job at the Pentagon and trying to figure out the commute cost. Are there any other options out there since this seems pretty expensive? Unfortunately, driving there is not an option for me.

Option 1
For month of August
Vienna to Pentagon
Round trip: $10.10 / day
Parking: $4.75 /day
Total: $14.85
Monthly Total: 23 workdays * $14.85 = $341.55

Option 2
28-Day Fast Pass $230
$230 + (23 workdays* $4.75 (parking)) = $339
3 workdays left in rail costs excluding parking. So I am not sure if this method will save me money since I just work on the weekdays.



Coma
Thanks Steve
Premium
join:2001-12-30
NirvanaLand


Seems to me like the difference between a rock and a hard place.

--
August is National Eye Exam Month



grobinette
Southeast of disorder
Premium,Mod
join:2001-01-27
Springfield, VA
kudos:2
reply to 855

The Metro Fare calculator shows it would be a little cheaper to go from Springfield Franconia but I can't calculate your drive cost to get there. $270 in Metro and Parking fees.

»www.wmata.com/rider_tools/calcul···ator.cfm



hambone42
Peace, through superior firepower
Premium
join:2002-02-02
Manassas, VA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to 855

One way to eliminate the parking cost would be to drive (or walk, if close enough) to the nearest park and ride lot, then ride the bus to Vienna. Yes, there is an additional fare for the bus but it is typically cheaper than the daily parking fee -- plus you don't have to fight the Vienna parking situation (BTW, are the new parking structures complete?).
--
Sarcasm is the Body's Natural Defense Against Stupidity



Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12
reply to 855

What county are you living in? I know Loudoun runs a commuter bus from several pick-up points in the city to Rosslyn, the Pentagon, and a loop through West DC. It's $7 each way ($14 a day, no parking fee), but it is hassle free and only suspends service on days the Federal government is closed (federal holidays) or shuts down due to weather.

I don't know about DOD, but many agencies offer a stipend for using mass transit that cuts the cost down for the commuter.
--
If we lose this freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment, those who had the most to lose, did the least to prevent its happening.



AB
Premium
join:2006-04-04
Leesburg, VA
kudos:3
reply to 855

Since driving to the Pentagon is not an option for you, you need to determine if possibly there's some way for you to eliminate the 'drive to Vienna Metro and pay $4.75 per day for parking' option.

I currently despise Metro. As an irregular rider, I'm now being extorted for an extra dollar per trip since I don't want or need a 'Fast Pass'.
I don't like being extorted.



DC DSL
There's a reason I'm Command.
Premium
join:2000-07-30
Washington, DC
kudos:2

I do not understand why some people object to SmarTrip. It is convenient and definitely faster to use than the paper cards (or cash on buses). I don't ride on a daily basis any longer but I've had one since they were first available. I keep it in my wallet with about $10 on it all the time so when I do need to grab a ride, I just breeze through. I absolutely cannot stand being stuck behind people using paper cards or cash, especially the tourists who can't cope with putting it into the slot correctly.

Now, what does have Metro on my list is the number of platform escalators that are down lately for repair. They should have learned the lesson from what happened to NYC's subway system not being maintained in the 1960s and 70s...and not cut back on maintenance here. Even worse than cutting back was not standing up to the funding sources with the true costs of maintaining the system and making very clear what would happen if the money wasn't found somehow. Had they done that, they still might not have received adequate funding...but at least when things started breaking down the true cause of it would not be able to pin it solely on bad management at WMATA.
--
"Dance like the photo isn't being tagged; love like you've never been unfriended; and tweet like nobody is following."



grobinette
Southeast of disorder
Premium,Mod
join:2001-01-27
Springfield, VA
kudos:2

Any engineer who creates a design to put escalators out exposed to the elements should not be allowed to practice.



DC DSL
There's a reason I'm Command.
Premium
join:2000-07-30
Washington, DC
kudos:2

1 recommendation

I think even worse than that was how they designed them so they did not have interchangeable parts. And that they did not have contract terms requiring the providers to ensure continued availability of parts for at least x years, even if they went out of business. The specs and technical data should at least have been kept in escrow so it could be taken elsewhere.
--
"Dance like the photo isn't being tagged; love like you've never been unfriended; and tweet like nobody is following."



AB
Premium
join:2006-04-04
Leesburg, VA
kudos:3
reply to DC DSL

said by DC DSL:

I do not understand why some people object to SmarTrip.

You live in the city, I don't. Nor do I live near a Metro station. Your chances of casually using the Metro are much greater than mine.
Why should I buy a 'SmarTrip' when I want to go for one $1.85 ride maybe every 4-6 weeks, and why should that $1.85 ride now cost me $2.85 because of which form of trip card I'm purchasing?

I don't object to SmarTrip, I object to being extorted. As I said. It's like I'm paying tribute to Big Paulie.

More subtle extortion: When inserting a $20 bill into a fare card machine, you're required to purchase a $10 card, because you're not going to get more than $10 in change.

What's the minimum purchase when buying a SmarTrip, anyway?


DC DSL
There's a reason I'm Command.
Premium
join:2000-07-30
Washington, DC
kudos:2

2 edits

You don't really have a legit argument there. SmarTrip simply is more convenient since you can now reload ahead of time online, it is faster to get through the faregates, you can use the same instrument to ride most of the transit systems in the region, pay for parking, and (if you register it) you won't lose the money that was on it. It is more convenient for Metro since printing so many mag stripe cards costs money, maintaining the mechanical readers costs money, and on buses having to physically handle currency costs money. If you feel the paper card is more convenient for you, then you have to pay a premium for that "convenience" as with most everything else these days.

When you buy a SmarTrip, it's $10 ($5 for the card, $5 value loaded on it). Adding value at a fare machine defaults to $10 when paying by credit or debit but you can decrease it. I think $5 is the minimum for cards but I'm not sure...I always either insert cash or if I'm paying with a card $10 or $20 depending on how much I plan to use it in the next few weeks. Adding value online is a $10 minimum...but to be safe, always do that a few days in advance, not as you're about to head out.

There also is a $3 rebate when you buy a card and register it online starting 9/1/12. You have to use that within 30 days or you lose it, though.

--
"Dance like the photo isn't being tagged; love like you've never been unfriended; and tweet like nobody is following."



AB
Premium
join:2006-04-04
Leesburg, VA
kudos:3

said by DC DSL:

You don't really have a legit argument there.

Not enjoying extortion maybe isn't a legitimate "argument", but I think it's always a legitimate sentiment.

If you feel the paper card is more convenient for you, then you have to pay a premium for that "convenience" as with most everything else these days.

Odd that for so many years I never had to pay that premium, yet the Metro transit system ran about exactly the same as it does now.

When you buy a SmarTrip, it's $10 ($5 for the card, $5 value loaded on it).

So there it is. They've figured out a way to get extra from me/us no matter which choice I/we make.

At any rate (so to speak), we obviously view the situation differently, and this thread isn't directly about what/how Metro is charging for farecards anyway. Maybe we should just leave it at that.


DC DSL
There's a reason I'm Command.
Premium
join:2000-07-30
Washington, DC
kudos:2

You are blowing it way, way out of proportion by claiming "extortion" by Metro.

Once the SmarTrip reached critical mass in terms of acceptance, plus the technological improvements that have made it possible for seamless use across rail, bus, and other systems in the region, plus the other conveniences I pointed out, use of the paper cards for the subway is no longer economically desirable. WMATA is absolutely within its rights to charge a premium to customers who want to continue using an outdated and increasingly costly method of payment. I have offered adequate explanation of why the SmarTrip is a better option than paper; kindly provide some tangible benefit to a paper card that makes it superior to the SmarTrip.

No one is being extorted. Penalized, perhaps; however, paying that penalty is solely at the express request of the customer. Surely you will take at least 5 trips on the subway within a few months...in which case the card has paid for itself. And, since you will more than likely ride the subway more than 5 times you incur no further "premium" charges (or penalty) for it unless you have to replace your card for some reason (I have had mine for over 12 years now).

Frankly, there is absolutely no reason for anyone who lives in the area and uses the subway on even a semi-regular basis to not have a SmarTrip. Let tourists pay the surcharge.
--
"Dance like the photo isn't being tagged; love like you've never been unfriended; and tweet like nobody is following."


shezams
My Other Car Is A Zamboni
Premium
join:2001-08-14
Hyattsville, MD

1 recommendation

reply to 855

I can offer you a cheaper option for the Smart Trip card. Baltimore has a Charm Card, it costs $10 with $7.50 on it and it can be used anywhere the Smart Trip can be used. Refills at Smart Trip machines, the Giant, where ever a Smart Trip goes it goes. That $10 will get it mailed free to your door too. »www.wmata.com/fares/purchase/store/ and scroll past the Smart Trip cards and there it is. I had to get another card for an out of town friend and was dumbfounded that I could pay 1/2 price to get a card that did everything a Smart Card did, and on Metro's own site too!
--
Simple rules - no offsides, no intent to maim, everything else is all good!