Reader poll: What kind of fare structure works for your commute?

A lot has been written and said in the past few weeks about Metro’s impending fare increase that goes into effect July 1. (Here’s a link to the new fare structure).

As part of that conversation, the issue of transfers has again arisen — two stories in the local papers this morning mentioned it, as discussed in today’s transpo headlines. Metro eliminated transfers several years ago in favor of a day pass that is equal to the cost of four individual bus or train rides.

I’m taking an educated guess that works for some riders and not for others. For example, in a survey of Metro riders conducted by the agency last year, 53% of those who responded said they would be willing to pay $2 to ride the entire system for two hours.

Thus the below survey. I did not include specific amounts for fares in the above poll because I don’t want to create the impression there’s any such proposal on the table at the agency. The above poll is really more about a concept than anything specific and perhaps people at the agency who think about such matters will find the results interesting.

I also want readers to ponder this: If — and it’s a big ‘if’ — the agency was to ever change the fare structure and such a change resulted in a loss of revenue, that money is likely going to come from somewhere else. That could possibly mean service cuts. On the other hand, the agency could also take the chance that making the system easier to use is worth the financial risk and could pay for itself by attracting more riders.