Which is cheaper? Driving or riding Metrorail into D.C.?

“Every time I turn around, they’re increasing the fare,” said a Metro rider.
In the wake of fare hikes for Metrorail and Metrobus, AAA said DMV residents may want to reevaluate their method of transportation.
“There are some important decisions to make, and that is whether it’s cheaper to drive or to take Metro,” said John Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs.
Right now, driving from Rockville to downtown D.C. costs about $2.75 per day in gas.
A round trip Metrorail ride surpasses $10.
But it’s not as simple as comparing these two prices; you have to consider a number of variables.
The first is parking; believe it or not, a third of employers in the district offer their workers free parking, according to the Department of Transportation.
But for those who have to pay out of pocket, it’s an average of about $13 per day with a monthly pass.
Parking at a Metro Station ranges from $5 to $9 in Rockville.
The second variable deals with fees that car owners are paying on top of operating costs.
But overall, this spending is pretty widespread.
“Most of us who live in Maryland and take Metro still need a car,” said Townsend.
So, even routine Metro riders are paying fees, like insurance.
The third variable is reliability.
“If being at work on time can cause me to lose my job, I’ll either drive or go to the Metro station a half hour earlier, and that’s going to weigh heavily on people,” said Townsend.
So which is the better option?
Townsend said there’s no obvious answer; it’s really about looking at your situation and then choosing between the lesser of two evils.

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