- I don't think free transfers are necessarily the answer, but I do think it's worth having a discussion on the current fare structure -- and Metro staff has said they'll revisit the issue at some point. Charging a full fare for a transfer certainly penalizes those who need to take a short bus or train ride to reach another bus or train, although it has helped keep the single ride fare among the lowest in the nation for large transit agencies. One option could be charging a higher single ride fare but allow for people to transfer as many times as they need within (for example) 90 minutes or two hours of purchasing a ticket -- in customer surveys, there has been support for that among riders. Or perhaps going back to low-cost transfers. Bus ridership has been flat in the past few years, and the fare recovery ratio hasn't gone up for Metro. The economic downtown likely played a role in that, but I think it's more than fair for people to question other reasons. Such as the current transfer policy.
- Can never hurt to have small bottle of hand sanitizer in your backpack. Especially if you happen (like me) to be reading David Quammen's "Spillover" at the moment.
- True. Text messaging will only get you so far.
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