Thursday, January 31, 2008

$1.65 too much for GW students

Apparently GW students can't afford $1.65 to ride metro. We don't seem to have a problem with $4 coffee or $2 water, but perhaps if WMATA lowered the fair to $1.00 ridership would skyrocket and we would be incentivised to 'experience DC'...

"Student Association officials and student leaders from across the District gave a letter to Metro administrators last week calling for reduced fares for college students.

The SA presented the letter, signed by 11 student presidents from D.C.-area universities, to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority board of directors. It is the latest push by the SA to lower fares for Metro trains and buses."

Also, the SA, at least in this article, does not give a single specific reason why fares should be lower. The closest thing they make to an argument is the vague statement: ""Metro is key to the GW experience, and GW is key to D.C."

I'm no economist, but this is ludicrous if ask me. I'm pretty sure that extra 65 cents or so is not what keeps GW students sheltered from the DC experience... forget the fact we're about four blocks from the White House and most all the major museums are in reasonable walking distance.

Now, some of the outlying schools (eg Mason) may have a legitimate claim here. But I'd like to see the GW SA focus on more Foggy Bottom relevant and important projects.

(Photo credit: public domain)


niklback41 said...

I actually never thought about the increase through that lens. It's a valid point considering when you make an argument, you always want to have something to substantiate it. GW Students if anything should be willing to shoulder a large metro increase in order to subsidize Washington DC growth and sustainability, which inherently leads to larger attraction to GW, increasing our output of intellectuals, thereby increasing our endowment. Obviously, such a theory is rudimentary at best, but if GW Students want to change the world, they should start first in their own city. Good call!

Lo said...

I agree, and do not think that the fare should be lowered. If there is a major concern of paying this already "fair" amount for reliable transportation, then you might as well walk. D.C. and the GW campus is a perfectly safe place to walk and everything is within walking distance. The added convenience by paying a minimal amount for a ride is definitely not to much to ask for considering what was stated in the article about how much students are already willing to pay for something like a coffee. There is no reason for the fair needing to be lowered. People living, and attending school in a city should already be accustomed to the higher fees on pretty much everything.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you don't consider this something the SA should make a priority, but how is it a problem for them to seek discounts for students if that's what they feel is important? Isn't their only reason for existing to benefit students? But you're saying that if they can get lower Metro fares for students they shouldn't?

The SA's job isn't to make the lives better for Foggy Bottom residents or DC residents, it's to make lives better for GW students. I don't see how they can be blamed for trying to make something that students use all the time cheaper.

Old habits die hard, and knocking the SA will probably be the last to go.

PWF said...

I would respond first by saying that its not fair of you to characterize the entire student body of GW as affluent and un-engaged. $1.65 twice a day going to and from an internship (one not subsidized by the Feds) every day for a semester adds up quickly. Consider commuter students as well.

I agree that in the article there are no "specific reasons" why fares should be cheaper for students. That is a fault of the Hatchet, not necessarily of the proposal. But, as a student, why complain!?

There's also a lot more to DC than Foggy Bottom and some people might be interested in seeing the rest of it but are on a budget. $1.65 may not be expensive to you, but don't speak for others.

As for the SA agenda: You have every right to disagree with its agenda. If you feel strongly enough I suggest that you write to your senator or to President Capp to express your disapproval with the activities of your government.

Personally I feel that the beauracracy of District government makes it particularly important for small organizations (such as the GW SA) to form coalitions (with other student governments) to get things accomplished. Perhaps GW's SA shouldn't be focusing on leading the charge on this issue because (perhaps) it does not effect GW students as much as other DC-area schools. But the coalition support and leadership by GW now could help it with its own issues later.