By Bob Weiss, CBSBoston.com Travel Contributor

WASHINGTON (CBS) – Comparing Washington, DC’s METRO with Boston’s MBTA is an interesting challenge these days.

The result may surprise you.

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The District of Columbia starts out with a big lead. Its subway trains are longer, the stations have cathedral ceilings and the trains are clean. Signs proclaim: No eating, no drinking, no food allowed. At major transfer points, up to four escalators are in operation.

The Boston system dates back to the end of the last century. The Metro was built 75 years later in the ‘60’s.

As everybody here knows, Boston got hit with more than 100 inches of snow this past winter and the MBTA ground to a halt as people tried to get to work.

In the District of Columbia, when six inches of snow falls, the government shuts down even though the Metro may be running.

Governor Charlie Baker took on the MBTA as his first priority. He commissioned an outside panel to review the system, which ended with the entire MBTA board resigning.

The Metro has its problems too.

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The Metropolitan Area Transit Authority covers Maryland, Virginia, the District and the federal government. They all have different transportation ideas and budget figures in mind. For example, they have not been able to agree on a new general manager for more than seven months.

Both systems are struggling with large deficits. While the MBTA has a basic fare structure at all times, the Metro has peak hour pricing, about a dollar more a ride.

Here the comparison starts to swing in favor of the MBTA.

The Washington fare from Union Station to Reagan Airport costs about $3.  In Boston you ride free from South Station to Logan Airport. Inbound fares are an even greater bargain as Massport is subsidizing the inbound service, which is free with connecting subway system to all parts of the city.

Another major factor favoring Boston is a public-private partnership announced this week that’s important for the growth of transportation.

New Balance USA is partnering with the MBTA and MassDOT to fund a $20 million new commuter rail station at its Boston Landing site that will open in the fall of 2016.

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Bob Weiss reports on business travel on Mondays at 5:55 a.m. on WBZ NewsRadio 1030.