What fare is fair?

Fares for public services is a tough needle to thread.

What fare is fair?
Garrison Park.

Good morning! I usually don't send out a newsletter on Friday but today is special because I didn't send one yesterday. I hope you enjoyed the rain the past two days. If there's something that living in Central Texas has taught me to do, it's to appreciate rain when it comes, even when it's inconvenient.

First story from the Austin Monitor:

The city will eliminate fees entirely at Walnut Creek Pool in North Austin and offer two free days at Bartholomew Pool near the Mueller Development and Garrison Pool in South Austin. 
...The parks department will track attendance per day at the pools this summer and intends to report on “the total budget impact of the pilot period,” according to the memo. PARD will also report on “any recommendations on adjustments in safety operations or staffing levels to implement this pilot permanently.”

It will be really interesting to see how the eliminated fees affect attendance. The standard fee for pool entrance in Austin is $2 for kids, $3 for teens, and $5 for adults. It's not expensive, but it's not nominal either. It costs our three-person family $12 to go to Garrison, our nearest pool. Not much for us, but there are certainly other families that would be deterred by it.

The amount that people are willing to pay for a service is a question that I naturally think about a lot as the operator of a subscription-based business. The only thing I know for sure is that our responses to prices are not entirely rational. People will thoughtlessly spend a lot of money on some things and go to great lengths to avoid spending small amounts on other things.