WMATA is facing another budget shortfall in 2011 and one of their means of closing the gap is to raise the price of a bike locker from $70 a year to $200 reports Michael Perkins at GGW.
Now I've always thought $70 was a bargain for a Metro bike locker, and I think many people agree as it's almost impossible to get one. I've always supported raising the price in a performance parking scheme and using the added revenue to add more lockers where most needed and improve service; but that isn't what this is. So, there is no indication that cyclists will get more service for this 180% increase in price. No online reservation system, though that is reportedly coming, no more lockers, just a fare increase.
Cyclists shouldn't mind doing their part to cover the costs of Metro service, but 180% is pretty dramatic. Can you imagine the uproar if they raised the price of parking for drivers by 180%? Dr. Gridlock's computer might literally explode from the torrent of email (I actually don't think that's possible, fyi). $200 might still be a fair price, but I hope WMATA doesn't expects to give bargain service for what is no longer a bargain price.
Hopefully, they'll set up a system by which the fee can be paid with Smart Benefits which would reduce the impact for some people.