The Metro Board of Directors voted unanimously today to lower the cost of the day pass to $5 from $6 for a one-year test period beginning this summer.
Here’s the staff report on the issue. One nice development: TAP cards preloaded with a day pass will be available on Metro buses for $6. The cost of a new TAP card is normally $2.
The idea behind the change is to provide relief to Metro customers because of high gas prices and the continuing tough economy. Here is the press release from Metro:
The Metro Board voted today to lower the price of the Metro Day Pass from $6 to $5 beginning Aug. 1 and to make the Day Pass available on TAP cards sold on buses at the same time. The new program is part of a 1-year test to determine whether the price roll back and convenience changes will encourage more commuters to try the Metro system.
“Given the current economy and the high price of gas, a temporary price reduction could help make life a little easier for our existing customers and attract new riders,” said Metro Board Chair and L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe. “If the test is a success, it’s our hope that Metro will have the financial capability to continue it and make travel easier and more economical for everyone.”
The new program will be closely monitored for revenue and ridership impacts. After six months it will be analyzed and the Metro Board will decide whether to continue it past the 1-year test.
Also as part of the test, Day Passes loaded onto TAP smart cards will be available for purchase on board Metro buses. The TAP card/Day Pass combination will be sold for $6. (Those who already have TAP cards will pay $5 for the Day Pass.) Currently TAP smart cards can be purchased at 22 ticket vending machines, at approximately 450 Metro pass sales outlets throughout Los Angeles County and at four Metro Customer Service Centers. They cannot be purchased aboard buses.
The Metro Day Pass was introduced in 2004 as a replacement for transfers. It proved immediately popular. In 2009, customers began loading Day Passes onto their TAP smart cards. It wasn’t until 2010, as Metro was fighting a multi-million dollar budget deficit, that the Day Pass price rose from $5 to $6. At that time, the price of the $1.80 Senior/Disabled Day Pass was not increased. It therefore will not experience a price rollback.
“As the Metro system matures and becomes more efficient and seamless, bus and rail connectivity is becoming more common,” said Metro CEO Art Leahy. “We want to make it easier for customers to have a convenient alternative to transferring within the system and we think this new reduced-price Day Pass — along with its availability on buses — is going to help make that happen.”
For more information on the TAP smart card go to taptogo.net.