Following a week of terrible Red Line Metro service, WMATA is offering refunds to riders who were inconvenienced. That’s a nice gesture, and perhaps it’s appropriate as a special measure when the same customers are hit with so many unexpected delays in such a short time. But in general, refunds are not the answer to Metro’s woes.

Yes, customers deserve to receive the service they’ve paid for, and, yes, it’s satisfying to hold WMATA financially accountable when it doesn’t meet expectations. Those are the arguments in favor of refunds, and admittedly they’re compelling.

But if WMATA actually gave refunds every time there was a breakdown (which as we all know is unfortunately frequently), what would the side effects be? As always, follow the money.

[Continue reading Dan Malouff’s post at BeyondDC.com.]

Dan Malouff is an Arlington County transportation planner who blogs independently at BeyondDC.com. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.