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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Pro-Train, but ...

From NYT via TOD,
For example, the price of a basic, one-way ticket between Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Station in New York will rise to $56 from $53. But the cost of a monthly pass between those cities, which allows unlimited travel on certain trains, will increase almost 60 percent, to $1,008 from $633. Commuters and their advocates expressed shock at the increases, and some said they would have to find a less expensive alternative.
I honestly had no idea that people paid this much for monthly passes. For one, the 90 mile distance from Philadelphia to NYC means that a person needs to spend a good three hours daily on the commute. But really, if someone willingly parts with several hours of freedom per day (yes, I know people usually do something constructive), how can they complain of a price increase? I have noticed that may people have talked about switching to buses at $20 a trip. But would not that add another hour or so per commute? Can't they take a hint?

If all else fails, we should probably start thinking about emulating the Eurailpass and the economies of scale that the Europeans have planned for.
Another comparison: In Switzerland a general ticket for the whole country costs approx. $225 per month. It's good all the trains (about 1,800 miles of lines) and postal service buses (which go to every little village and hamlet, about 6,500 miles of lines), plus most city bus lines, plus excursion boats on the lakes and rivers. The 72 miles from Zurich to Berne takes a bit less than an hour.

This gives m a chance to interject that I appreciate my daily bike commute of 3 miles more and more each day.


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