Special meeting to be held May 8 to discuss fare increase

The agency’s Board of Directors also voted Thursday to hold a special meeting within the next 60 days to discuss the fare increase scheduled to take place on July 1. The meeting has been scheduled for Saturday, May 8, at 10 a.m. at Metro headquarters in downtown Los Angeles.

The Bus Riders Union and some environmental groups have said that the fare increase, approved by the Board of Directors in 2007, is inappropriate because of the ongoing recession.

Under the fare increase, the price of a regular single ride on Metro buses and trains would increase from $1.25 to $1.50. Fares for students, seniors and the disabled would remain $1.25 until July 1, 2013, a freeze approved as part of the Measure R sales tax increase.

The full list of fare changes is included in a press release from Metro, posted after the jump.Fares For Seniors, Students, Disabled Will Not Change
Metro Schedules Special Board Meeting Saturday,
May 8, To Update Public On Pending Fare Change

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors will hold a special meeting Saturday, May 8, to update the public on Metro’s planned fare change scheduled for July 1, 2010. The session will start at 10 a.m. in the third floor Board room at Metro headquarters, One Gateway Plaza, Cesar Chavez and Vignes in downtown Los Angeles next to Union Station.

This is not a public hearing. Transportation agency directors had approved this summer’s fare change three years ago as part of a two-step fare restructuring. The first change was implemented in July 2007 but the second step, originally scheduled for July 2009, was delayed one year as mandated by passage of Measure R, a new local transportation sales tax approved by Los Angeles County voters in November 2008.

Under Measure R, fares for seniors, students, the disabled and Medicare recipients will stay at current levels until 2013.

Updating the public about this important benefit of Measure R is one of the key reasons the Board scheduled the special session. The public also is welcome to comment before the Board about how economic conditions have changed and how the new fares will impact regular riders.

It should be noted that this is only the third Metro fare change in the past 15 years. Again, it will not affect seniors, students, disabled and Medicare recipients. Their discounted fares will not change.

Even with the fare increase, Metro fares will remain among the lowest of any major transit agency in the nation. The regular cash fare will go up from $1.25 currently to $1.50 but that compares with a $2.25 base fare charged by transit agencies in New York, Chicago and San Diego.

As a result of expanding service and keeping the lid on fares for decades, Metro riders today only pay 26 percent of what it costs to operate Metro buses and trains. Under the new fare structure, the farebox recovery ratio will increase slightly to 28 percent.

Due to the deep economic recession, Metro is facing an historic $180 million operating deficit in the fiscal year starting July 1, 2010. Local transportation sales tax revenue is down 20 percent from its peak and there also has been a drop in bus rideship and fare box revenue along with cuts in state transportation funding.

Since the fare change had been previously approved, it was factored into the budget equations for the FY 11 budget. The fare change is estimated to generate $24 million in additional revenue.

Metro CEO Art Leahy has severely cut the agency’s overhead in preparing his draft FY 11 budget proposal, which will be presented to the agency’s Board in May. This spring 20 percent of all non-contract positions in departments ranging from Communications to Finance will be eliminated. For the second year in a row, no wage increases will be offered Metro employees.

Attached is a complete list of the New Metro Fare Structure set to go into place on July 1.

New Metro Fare Structure
Regular    Current    As of 7/1/10
Cash    $1.25    $1.50
Token    $1.25    $1.50
Day Pass    $5.00    $6.00
Weekly    $17.00    $20.00

Month    $62.00    $75.00
EZ transit pass    $70.00    $84.00
Regular – Other
Cash Zone 1    $0.60    $0.70
Cash Zone 2    $1.20    $1.40
Monthly premium each zone    $18.00    $22.00
Owl/Late-Night/Off-Peak    $1.25    $1.50
Metro to Muni Transfer    $0.30    $0.35
Cash    $0.55    $0.55
Cash – Off-Peak (65+)    —0.25    $0.25
Zone 1    $0.30    $0.30
Zone 2    $0.60    $0.60
Day Pass    $1.80    $1.80
Monthly    $14.00    $14.00
EZ transit pass    $35.00    $35.00
___Monthly premium each zone    $9.50    $9.50
Metro to Muni Transfer    $0.10    $0.10
K-12    $24.00    $24.00
College    $36.00    $36.00

Categories: Policy & Funding

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