>Estimate of number of WMATA pass users

>Based on the numbers presented from staff in this board report, I’m estimating the following number of users:

Short Rail Pass ($26.40/week): 2,433 riders per week
Rail Fast Pass ($39.00/week): 3,842 riders per week
Rail Day Pass ($7.80/day): 4,056 riders per day
Bus Flash Pass ($11.00/week): 19,572 riders per week

I assumed that the number of passes stayed constant (the table was labeled “Minimum Ridership Loss Assumption”), and that the passes were a constant rate throughout the year. I used the following formula:

# Riders ~ Revenue Gain / (New Price – Old Price) / Number of Pass Periods in 12 Months

For the example of the Bus Flash Pass:

Old Price = 11.00
New Price = 13.00
Revenue = $2.035 M
Periods = 52 Weeks

Each of these people would be better off if they had the option to put their passes on Smartrip and automatically purchase new ones when the old ones ran out. There would be a lot more people purchasing passes if they were more convenient, too. WMATA would benefit by having a reliable source of revenue up front, reduced administrative costs because the pass cards don’t need to be printed and distributed, and an increase in ridership (especially off-peak). Pricing of each of these passes is pretty close to the “pay for your commute and the rest is free” model. I would advocate also to increase the price of the rail pass by no more than $5 and have the rail passes allow free bus ridership as well.


About perkinsms

I'm an engineer and father interested in transit, parking and economics.
This entry was posted in bus, passes, smartrip, transit, WMATA. Bookmark the permalink.

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