As those who have been following the issue know, Metro CEO Art Leahy has been saying since last spring that the agency will likely pursue a restructuring of bus and train fares in 2014. The idea is to keep pace with rising costs, increase revenues and create fares that better serve a growing system.
And, yes, that could possibly mean some fare increases.
As Leahy told the Metro Board’s Executive Management Committee on Thursday, the challenge is this: the agency has been trying to create a system that makes it easier to transfer between transit lines but the current fares tend to discourage transfers by charging riders for each individual ride on a bus or train.
As part of the restructuring effort, Leahy also said there will soon be workshops for the Metro Board to discuss different scenarios.
I want to stress that nothing has been decided, nor is there anything on the table. In fact, there is barely a table at this time. One other note: while revenues from gate latching at rail stations may create some new funding, Leahy said that it will only amount to a tiny fraction of the costs of running the entire bus and rail system.
We’ll follow all fare conversations closely on the blog and do our best to inform you what gets proposed and why. Metro’s current fares have been in place since 2008 and changing fares is always a long process.
Categories: Policy & Funding