Tuesday, January 10, 2012

WMATA proposes to reduce locker fee to $120

In the Proposed FY2013 Operating and Capital Budget one of the recommendations is to reduce the bike locker rental fee from $200 to $120. From the Fare Recommendations section: "Encourage bike access to rail system by decreasing bike locker rental annual fee to $120." This is good news for Fairfax cyclists.

There was a significant price increase a few years ago. According to TheWashCycle:
Two years ago, the annual fee was tripled, and Metro predicted that the price hike would bring in an extra $200,000 per year. Metro assumed that the demand for bike lockers was so inelastic that locker rentals would decline less than a 10%.

Cycling advocates suggested that the tripling would cause a sticker shock leading to widespread non-renewals, possibly enough to cause a net loss in revenues. I recommended to my then-Metro board member (Elizabeth Hewlitt) that increasing the cost to $100 would have made more sense and brought in more revenue. But Metro board members paid scant attention to this issue, possibly because of the small magnitude of revenues involved. (Nor was it a high priority for WABA, coming during the transition as Eric Gilliland moved on.)

I predict that this 40% price cut will cause a small increase in revenues, both because more lockers will be rented, and because having a bike locker will lead a few more cyclists to take Metro more often.

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