Friday, August 20, 2010

Letter from Dan Connelly to Caltrain regarding Monthly Passes

Letter to Caltrain from Dan Connelly on the Monthly Pass vs. 8 ride conundrum. I agree wholeheartedly

Presently the monthly pass is an unwise investment for many due to the
relatively large ratio of cost of a monthly pass to a 10-ride.

Consider the following example:

30 days in month
21 weekdays
1 holiday, on average
1 vacation day, on average
1 sick day
travel for business, 2 days per month
alternate transportation, average 2 round trips per month

That's 15 round trips per month, yet the ratio of a monthly pass to an 8-ride
ticket costs is 16 round trips. And with the gradual reduction and impending
cancellation of weekend service, there's little if any value there.

So the reality is for many professionals the monthly pass is an economic loss on
average. I therefore propose you spare the monthly pass from further fare
increases, decreasing the ratio of monthly to 8-ride tickets well below the
present 16 to a level which makes more economic sense. By encouraging riders
to buy monthly passes, you will likely increase revenue, as more part-time
riders choose to spend a bit more for a monthly and become full-time riders.

The economic sense of this is further supported by the view that regular train
users are likely more price-elastic than, for example, Giants fans, who view the
cost of a train ticket a small portion of an evening's expense, while commuters
are already in large numbers making the decision that using a car is cheaper.

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