Unlimited Rides

Michael Perkins is advocating for unlimited-ride passes on Washington DC's Metro. I'm fully supportive of his initiative, though I have to admit that I'd probably never buy one.

(from thisisbossi on Flickr)

Right now, my primary means of transportation is my bike, and my secondary means is Metro. I like it this way. I like getting out in the fresh air. I'm not a huge fan of the daily "orange crush". I appreciate being able to stay active so easily. And I especially like saving $4.80 (round-trip) every workday that I don't use Metro.

If I had an unlimited pass, my behavior would surely change. I'd bike less and ride Metro more. I'd feel like I was getting a bad deal not using my unlimited ride pass more (even though that's irrelevant since it's a sunk cost anyway). Every time I thought about hopping on a train or a bus, I wouldn't have to first ask myself "is this worth it"?

Now, if you take the word bike from above and replace it with car, then an unlimited ride transit pass actually has significant social benefits. And since most people are currently not getting around town like me, having a compelling incentive to switch from motoring to Metroing would hardly be the worst thing in the world.