Uber vs DC Subway: Fancy Math but No Fires

October 23, 2017

I know I am supposed to focus on search and online content processing. But when I read “Metrorail vs Uber: Travel Time and Cost,” I decided to highlight this example of local government fancy math. The write up explains when it makes sense to take the DC subway usually referenced by those who live in Washington, DC as “the metro” and Uber.

The analysis uses graphs and logic to prove that the DC subway is the better bet for commuting. I noted this passage:

It is unclear how long Uber prices will remain this low. Several news outlets have reported that Uber subsidizes its rides with money from investors, meaning current fares might not reflect the full cost of a ride.

My take is that when prices go up, the DC subway is the better choice when moving around the throbbing heart of government.

But there are the fires, the breakdowns, and the complexity of the transfer bus system to delight the visitor from out of town and the long suffering Red Line riders trying to get from Shady Grove to Pentagon City.

Nifty illustration of what one can do with spare time and a somewhat superficial analysis. Now about those dead elevators or what I call the hassle factor? For added entertainment, watch a person from another country try to buy a ticket to ride the DC subway. Great fun!

Stephen E Arnold, October 23, 2017


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