Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Los Angeles Metro System Proposes Major Fare Hikes Over Next 8 Years

Trying to plug a massive budget shortfall, the Los Angeles Metro proposed two potential fare hikes that could balloon fares for Los Angeles' bus and train commuters.  The first proposal raises the initial fare in two stages, hike subsidized fares for students and the disabled, and nearly double day- and weekly passes. The second would switch prices to a two-tier system, where rush-hour fares would be jacked up and off-peak trips would remain the same (for now).

Associations representing transit riders immediately assailed the proposed hikes, and cited the disproportionate impact they would have on the poor or elderly who rely on mass transit most.

The one silver lining in the proposals? They would end the practice of charging a full-price ride for every transfer from one Metro train or bus line to another, making transfers free.  They would also allow fares paid by TAP card to include a 90-minute free round trip, making short januts and errands less expensive.

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
LA Daily News

Link to article:
Metro bus and train fares could more than double under MTA proposal

Excerpt: "Bus and train fares could more than double over the next eight years, under a Metro proposal aimed at plugging a $36 million annual gap that was released late Friday.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority staff released two alternative fare structure proposals, both of which aimed at increasing overall fares in three phases over the next eight years, possibly increasing those fares by as much as 117 percent overall.

One option would boost the base fare from the current $1.50 to $1.75 this year, eventually hiking it to $2.25. Fares for students and the disabled would double, from 55 cents to $1.10.

Day passes would jump from $5 to $9, and a weekly pass would climb from $20 to $32.

The second option would raise the fares to $2.25 during peak hours, but keep the $1.50 base fare during non-peak hours. The peak hour fee would after four years jump to $3.25.

But the current policy of forcing bus riders to pay a separate fee every time they transfer would be eliminated. Metro Chief Executive officer Art Leahy said encouraging free transfers would be a more efficient use of the system, because riders would be able to use transfers to make their trips faster.

More than half of Metro’s passengers transfer from one train or bus to another on each one-way trip, Leahy said, meaning savings for many.

The proposed fare system would also allow free round trips if made within 90 minutes, allowing someone to take a bus for a brief visit to a store, and back, for one fare. Passengers would have to employ a reusable TAP card, which costs $1, for such trips because it can keep track of the 90-minute window."

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