Monday, August 30, 2010
I myself take Metro to and from games. Living up the I-95 corridor in suburban Maryland, Greenbelt Station is my station of choice. It has a direct exit off 495, making it easy to get to, and always has sufficient parking. But Metro isn’t cheap. It’s one of those expenses that you just assume into your cost for a game and coming off your Smart Trip card, you rarely ever see the cash leave you hand. But just how expensive is it?
Get ready to get sick.
The Caps have 25 games that fit Metro’s ‘weekday’ pricing (27 actual weekday games, 2 of which fall on a holiday) and 16 games that fit their ‘weekend’ pricing (including those two holiday games). Assuming you leave for DC at 4:00pm on a game day, park at the station and leave downtown for home after 9:00pm, these are the full-season costs from the system's end stations:
Greenbelt: $632.25 for a couple w/ parking; $1158.25 for a family of 4 w/ parking
Shady Grove: $682.25; $1245.75
Vienna: $676.00; $1239.50
Glenmont: $659.75; $1200.75
New Carrolton: $546.35; $986.45
Franconia Springfield: $676.00; $1239.50
Largo Town Center: $622.25; $1138.25
Branch Avenue: $528.85; $951.45
(Oh, and with Metro’s new $0.20 ‘Peak-of-the-peak’ fare increase, if you’re leaving for DC between 4:30-6:30pm during the week add on an additional $5 to the total.)
Insane, right? The cost of Metro for a family of 4 is nearly the cost of a season ticket. During the week, it’s actually more expensive for a couple to park at Shady Grove Metro Station and take the train in ($20.25) than it is to drive to Chinatown and pay $10-20 to park in a garage (granted, you eliminate the hassle of dealing with rush-hour traffic if you train in).
Fortunately, there are ways of lessening the blow from Metro costs if you’re willing to do some work.
Take a look at stations a little further down the line, closer to the city. With fares that are $0.60 less than Greenbelt’s, taking the train from College Park Station will save you $201.80 over the course of a season. The same holds true for Twinbrook ($30) and Grosvenor ($95) on the Red Line, Van Dorn St. ($90) and Morgan Blvd. ($171.80) on the Blue Line, and Dunn Loring ($60) and West Falls Church ($256.80!) on the Orange Line. Some of these stations have far fewer parking spots than the end stations, but if you’re lucky enough to get a spot it’s worth the extra drive.
You could also look for a job in Downtown DC, in which case you’d save some money by not leaving the city till after Metro’s peak fare times. You could do even better if you find a job with an employer who subsidizes Metro costs. I hear the Federal Government is always hiring!
Or you could simply drive your Mercedes Benz SL65 AMG Black Edition into Chinatown and park in the Verizon Center garage. Oh yeah... to do that, you'll need to be the best hockey player in the world.
No matter what, the cost of a Caps season ticket isn’t the true cost of the ticket and it isn't for the faint of heart. Fortunately enough, 18,000 red-clad Caps Fans think the price is worth it.