Thursday, January 26, 2012

We Need A New Metro Line

I eagerly await the day that the Silver Line--which will connect Dulles Airport, Reston, and Tysons Corner to the DC area Metro system--is completed, if only because of the amount of terrible drivers who will now be given a chance to ride the rails instead of tailgate and crash all over I-66. And "Silver" is a nice touch, though it shows that they are running out of distinctive colors for the various lines. "Gold" won't work, since it's too close to yellow, "black" won't work because people will think that means it's haunted, and "plaid" is a bad idea because the line will get infested with Scottish hooligans fighting over whose clan is to be represented.

I do propose a "polka dot" line though, to reach key underserved areas, like southwest Arlington, Fair Oaks, and Chantilly, but we're still running into the problem of "how do we pay for it". It's simple really:

1) Enable the tracks to be used by private operators after hours for special "party trains" that serve drinks, dancing, gambling and delicious food as they cruise slowly around the city.

2) Rent out concession space at the stations for coffee, beer, and snack sales. To alleviate any litter problem, install cameras in the cars and on the platforms, and anyone caught littering is subject to 1000 hours of community service cleaning up litter. Far worse than a fine.

3) Those guys hustling for cash on the trains? There's really no way to stop them, so instead require them to fork over a quarter of their take to the Metro system when they exit.

4) More ads.

5) Add a "luxury car" with its own guard for each train. People buying VIP weekly or monthly passes can sit on plush couches, watch movies, be served snacks. It'll add some revenue, and enable the rich people to take Metro instead of taking up too much road in their luxury SUVs.

6) Add "low class" cheapo cars, with special "cheapo" passes--these would be standing room only, unheated cars with no frills. These cars would take on people who are bargain searching, who don't mind standing and being in a more crowded car than normal.


  1. I like ideas five and six. Although it might make taking Metro way too much like flying.

  2. Foggy--it might, but for me the bigger price issue with flying is the wild fluctuations in cost for the same seat, rather than tiered costs for different levels of service. In Paris (at least 25 years ago) they did actually have first class cars. They weren't nicer per se, but were less crowded since they cost more.