The chronic problems of the Washington metro system can’t be blamed entirely upon its dysfunctional, multi-state governance system or even the poor choices of its governing board. Any realistic appraisal of the Metro must take into account the fact that the country is increasingly populated by friggin’ lunatics!
The Metro board came up with the idea of selling off the naming rights to Metro stations. Most recently, the board waived its existing naming rules in order to finalize a deal with a “Fortune Global 500 company” to rename the soon-to-open Innovation Center station (near the Center for Innovative Technology building) to a name selected by the unnamed corporation. Now members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors are in a snit that the county wasn’t consulted.
People, get a grip. As WTOP states succinctly, “Metro hopes station naming rights deals could help offset losses from ridership declines to help keep the budget in line without more significant fare increases.”
Speaking of significant fare increases… fare jumping in the Washington Metro is already a significant problem, accounting for $29 million in losses. That could well get worse, depending on whether local riders heed calls for an international transit fare strike. Proclaims the “It’s Going Down” website:
Everyone pays for the rich to get richer. We pay with our labor, working to fill their pockets. We pay with skyrocketing rent as they gentrify us out of our homes. We pay with the destruction of the environment, the erasure of our communities, the stress in our day-to-day lives. We pay for things that used to be free, like water. We pay taxes so they can hire more cops to terrorize us. Everyone pays, but only they benefit. …
A strike is a blow. It’s not just a boycott; it means interrupting the system, stopping it from working. At the least, you could avoid paying the fare on public transit in your city. But it’s better to make our refusal public and collective. Hop the turnstiles all together. Open up the gates and intervene if security tries to harass anyone. Sabotage the machines. Make the walls proclaim “Nobody Pays!” with posters or spray paint.
This insanity is primarily a West Coast phenomenon, with active movements in Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco, but it has spread to New York City and Chicago. The strike is scheduled for Nov. 29. We’ll see how many anarchists and Antifa sympathizers there are in the Washington region. Washington may be the cockpit of the U.S. administrative state, which is anything but anarchical, but I’m guessing that a fair number of lefties will be jumping Metro turnstiles.
Clearly, we live in The Era of Crazy. Everyone wants everything for free. This flight from reality is totally unworkable. Wise up, Fairfax supervisors. Unless you want to cough up extra tax money to compensate the Metro for lost naming-rights revenue, figure out how to make the deal work!
James Bacon is the publisher of baconsrebellion.com