Two motions regarding fare media were unanimously approved today by the Executive Management & Audit Committee.
This first motion converts Metro calendar-based passes into “rolling” passes.
Current calendar-based passes are good for the specific week or month they are purchased (i.e. a monthly pass bought in May is only good during that month). The rolling pass system takes the calendar out of the equation and makes it so that duration of a pass begins upon first use (i.e. a 30-day pass bought and used on May 19th would be good through June 17th).
Rolling passes take advantage of the TAP card’s ability to track and intelligently expire fares and gives Metro riders more flexibility when it comes to pass purchases. Regular and reduced fare monthly and weekly passes would be converted to 30-day and 7-day passes, respectively. EZ transit passes are excluded due to regional fare issues. Here’s the staff report.
The second motion (here’s the staff report) reduces the price of day pass from $6 to $5 on a test basis with the goal of enticing new riders looking for transportation alternatives in light of high gas prices and a sour economy. Staff hopes that the dollar discount will make trips that involve transfers more agreeable for riders. A single ride fare on Metro is $1.50; the day pass allows for an unlimited number of rides in a day, so the fourth trip of the day would be discounted for riders.
Board members on the Executive Management & Audit Committee said these are the sort of measures that should be taken to benefit riders and visitors and to encourage more ridership. Staff was also instructed by directors to ensure that riders can purchase day passes on buses even if they don’t currently have a TAP card.
The day pass was created in 2004 with a price of $3. It was raised to $5 in 2008 and $6 in 2010.
Pending approval of the full Board at their regular meeting next week, rolling passes would go into effect on July 1 and $5 day passes would come later in the summer.