Proposal for restructuring Metro fares is released; fares would be raised and free transfers allowed


Click above and below to see larger views of the two options.


Metro staff released a fare restructuring proposal today that would raise fares in three phases over the next eight years while also making Metro more customer-friendly by allowing riders to board an unlimited number of buses and trains for 90 minutes in any direction for a single fare.

The proposal includes two options for restructuring fares. The first option would raise the base fare from the current $1.50 to $1.75 for the next four years and eventually to $2.25.

The second option would keep the base fare at $1.50 during off-peak hours and raise it to $2.25 during peak hours for the next four years and eventually to $2 in off-peak hours and $3.25 in peak hours. Both options with the complete set of increases are shown above.

The increases are needed to help cover the expense of running its bus and train system and to prevent a budget deficit in 2016, according to Metro staff. Metro has raised fares three times in the past 18 years, most recently in 2010 when the base fare went from $1.25 to $1.50. 

The proposal is a notable departure from the current fare system that requires passengers to pay a full fare for each individual ride on a Metro bus or train — which effectively punishes those who must transfer to reach their destinations (Metro customer surveys indicate more than half of its riders transfer to reach their destination). Metro staff say the proposed fares would be helpful to those using the Metro system to run short errands and will likely reduce the cost of riding Metro for some passengers.

For example, under the proposed fare system, a rider could ride from home to the supermarket and back for just a single fare — as long as they board their last bus or train within 90 minutes of starting their trip.

Under the proposal, the cost of daily, weekly and monthly prices would rise because pass holders tend to be the heaviest users of the system. Another significant change would be the eventual elimination of the current monthly pass in favor of the EZ pass that would allow for unlimited travel on Metro and other bus systems in Los Angeles County.

Metro staff are asking the Metro Board of Directors to schedule a public hearing on the fare proposals on Saturday, March 29 at 9 a.m. No fare changes can take effect until the Metro Board votes to approve them, which is scheduled to happen on May 22, according to the staff report. The Board has the discretion to accept, reject or request changes to the staff proposals. The current proposal calls for the new fares to take effect on September 1.

Some points to consider:

•Fares currently cover 26 percent of the cost of operating Metro buses and trains — the so-called “fare recovery” rate and the current average fare for Metro is just 70 cents. Those are both low compared to other agencies and will eventually cause a budget deficit as costs rise of running the system.

•The regular base fare for most other large transit agencies is already $2 or more. The New York City subway, for example, charges $2.50, the San Francisco Muni $2, the Chicago CTA is $2 for buses and $2.25 for trains, the Portland TriMet $2.50 and the Washington Metro charges $1.60 for buses and $2.10 for peak hour rail travel. All those agencies allow for free transfers within a 90-minute or two-hour period.

•Metro CEO Art Leahy has repeatedly said a new fare structure is needed to encourage more ridership and run a more efficient system. Riders sometimes take longer routes to avoid transfers, which Leahy has said doesn’t promote efficient use of the system and drives up operating costs. Leahy also has said that he expects next year to launch a major study of the efficiency of Metro’s route structure.

•The ability to transfer for free within 90 minutes would only be available to those with TAP cards. The reason: TAP cards will be the technology used to track how long people are riding the system.

•Metro last raised the price of the regular base fare and daily, weekly and monthly passes in July 2010. Fares for seniors, disabled and students were not raised at the time because they had been frozen by Measure R for five years.

The Metro staff report on the fare proposal is below or can be downloaded here as a pdf file. The proposal to call a public hearing is scheduled to be discussed by the Metro Board of Directors at their regular meeting on Jan. 23 at 9:30 a.m. in the Board room at Metro headquarters adjacent to Los Angeles Union Station. The meeting, as always, is open to the public. You can listen to the meeting by phoning 213-922-6045.

92 replies

  1. The thing is, it’s not about “how far you can get for $2.25,” it’s about “what trip you do most often that will cost $2.25” OK?

    The problem with you folks is that you don’t understand that concept. You think it’s great that you can go all the way as far as you want for $2.25. But in the real world, people don’t do trips like Sylmar to San Pedro or from Santa Monica to Ontario on a constant, frequent basis.

    They do trips from home to the neighborhood supermarket. They drive from their apartment jobs to the minimum wage job they have at McDonald’s or Target. People don’t live in Sylmar and go work or shop at the Target in San Pedro, if they live in Sylmar, they’re going to work and shop at the Target in Sylmar.

    How hard is it to figure this out? Just look at what you do everyday and apply that to the fare increase. Where do you live, where do you work, where do you shop, how far is it from each of those places. Now multiply each trip by $2.25. And you realize that a “$2.25 as far as you can go” ain’t really cut out to be because you don’t do that everyday!!!!

  2. O’ Dawg

    “Sylmar to San Pedro (MTA only) one would take 3 bus/trains and pay 3 times. Under the new proposal, It is possible to make that trip while paying only twice.”

    Yeah, sounds great to you that you can accomplish that ridiculous long trip that what, a person would probably take less than one time a year if any, when a vast majority of the people have shorter trips often.

    You say it’s going to be a good thing because one can go all the way from Sylmar to San Pedro for $2.25. HOW REALISTICALLY DOES ANYONE DO THAT ON AN EVERYDAY BASIS!!!!?????

    The vast majority of the people living in Los Angeles DO NOT TRAVEL THAT FAR ON A FREQUENT BASIS. They leave home, their apartments, and drive to work within a 5-10 mile radius. People use the Red Line by living in Koreatown and commute to Downtown LA. That’s less than a 3.1 mile trip! THESE ARE THE COMMUTING PATTERNS OF ANGELENOS EVERYDAY. They don’t go from Sylmar to San Pedro everyday! DRILL THAT INTO YOUR HEAD!!!!

  3. Atheistically Yours,

    Where does the Blue Line (run by Metro) end? Long Beach. It’s own city.
    Where is the Expo Line going to? Santa Monica, again it’s own city.

    Look at the wide coverage of our Metro Bus system

    It serves South Bay cities like Gardena, Torrance, Rancho Palos Verdes, Manhattan Beach, it serves Beverly Hills, Inglewood, Hawthorne, cities in East LA, Pasadena, Burbank, Glendale, etc. etc….all of which are their own cities!

    You fail to realize that “LA” isn’t just the city of LA. LA is a mix of 88 mini-cities in this entire LA County. People live in Glendale, go to work in Burbank. People live in Santa Monica, go to work in Culver City. People work in Torrance, and work in Gardena. All each of their own city, but is looked at as “LA.”

    We have a Metro Bus going to Disneyland, which isn’t even in our county!

    And the Gold Line Extension? It’s crossing over to San Bernardino County!

    And you think we can run $2.25 where people can pay $2.25 for a block ride as opposed from LA all the way to San Bernardino County and even Anaheim?

    Gimme a break. You guys all need to learn geography. Oh wait, America sucks at geography. My bad.

    • I’m not arguing that. Just the numbers used for comparisons. They seem incorrectly large for the reasons that I gave. Even if you just consider LA County (and BTW, the proposal only covers MTA, not the 20 or so other muni’s that independently change their schedules, fares and policies), it’s not 33000 square miles; more like 4100.

    • If the “LACMTA” served ALL PARTS OF L.A. COUNTY equally (which it does NOT!), then there would be MTA transit service in: Antelope Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, throughout the ENTIRE San Gabriel Valley, AND LONG BEACH! There is not! There are 12 other CITY-RUN transit systems, PLUS “Foothill Transit” (whose service is believe it or not, WORSE then the MTA’s!). The MTA never has, and NEVER WILL serve ALL of L.A. COUNTY, though

      • Exactly, Atheistically Yours! Because I live in the extreme South LA, I became acutely aware that the core of MTA service exists between Rinaldi and Imperial Hwy, the Pacific Ocean/LA/Ventura County Line and Alameda. Gardena and Torrance pretty much dominate areas south of Imperial Hwy. These and other muni’s won’t be affected by this proposal.

        One thing to note is that regardless of someone’s actual one-way trip time, I have found very few runs on any line that are longer than 90 minutes. To go from Sylmar to San Pedro (MTA only) one would take 3 bus/trains and pay 3 times. Under the new proposal, It is possible to make that trip while paying only twice.

  4. O’Dawg,

    Metro is a LA County agency, not the City of LA.

    Hence, the 10 million population (and likely to keep growing) figure is the right number to use when considering that Metro’s primary service is to cover all of LA County.

    In that light, I have to agree that running a flat rate system to cover all of LA County sounds pretty ridiculous. LA County stretches all the way from Malibu to the West, to Pomona on the East, from Lancaster and Palmdale to the North to San Pedro and Long Beach to the South.

  5. I’d like to be on board with this, but only after some more reasonable numbers. I drive in an out of the City of Los Angeles enough to see signs that don’t state more than 4.5 Million residents. Also, for Los Angeles, and I’ll give you county, to be 33000 square miles, it would have to have boundaries that are at least 180 miles long. Wikipedia lists 4.5M and 9.3M for city and county populations, and 508 sq miles for LA city. That sounds more reasonable given the distance from say Sylmar to San Pedro. If you can correct or explain the math, I’d like to see this comparison, again. Seoul’s square footage is 1/2 that of City of Los Angeles, but with a population rivaling County of Los Angeles.

  6. Caesar J,

    So you want to do a compare and contrast analysis of major world class metropolises based on area size and population? Here, let’s do it:

    Los Angeles Metro: 33,593 square miles at a population of 18 million (uses flat rate fates)

    Seoul Metro: 45,000 square miles at a population of 25 million (uses distance based fares)
    Tokyo Metro: 21,480 square miles at a population of 32 million (uses distance based fares)
    London Metro: 13,690 square miles at a population of 15 million (uses zonal based fares)

    Los Angeles is a large metropolis that covers a large metropolitan area with a huge population. You got that right. So are Seoul, Tokyo, and London. LA is the only stupid city in the world that thinks it’s public transit system can cover 33,500 square miles under a single flat rate fare structure, while the rest of the major world class cities figured out long ago that in a metropolitan area of that size with such a huge population, that distance based fares is a better way to go.

    And before you say it, no, there is no other city in the US that closely resembles the area size and population of Los Angeles. We are on our own in the US and the only cities that closely matches our size and population are cities outside of the US. So it makes no sense to copy the likes of San Francisco or New York who are smaller, compact cities that bear no resemblance to Los Angeles characteristics. They can run fine under a flat rate free transfer structure because their cities are small. We on the other hand, are too big and too spread out, that a “one size fits all” solution cannot be applied here.

  7. I have to agree with the comment above.

    Even if Metro is not a for profit transit agency the least we could to try new methods to bring up the farebox recovery ratio so that less tax dollars are needed to keep Metro running. Distance based fares is a more profitable method, as many Asian transit operators run on a distance based fare system and have over 100% farebox recovery ratios. if we can apply parts of that idea so that our farebox recovery ratio goes up to at least 50%, that’s a lot better than the 28% farebox recovery ratio today. 50 taxes : 50 farebox is better than 72 taxes : 28 fares.

  8. Caesar J,

    Metro, a taxpayer agency said everything was fine under the honor system. It lost billions of dollars in fare evasion because of that. If goverment assisted public transit lead us to this mess, I think we ought to try out some of the idea used by the for profit model of public transit like Asia. All we’re doing is throwing tax dollars to lazy unions, who have the least idea how to run public transit, we don’t even have daily caps or a decent website, TAP doesn’t work as promised, and Metro’s answer is a flat rate fare hike? Who’s to say this is the end of it? You all know it’s going to more cuts, higher fares, or higher taxes.

    $2.25 fares today, it’s going to be $3.00 tomorrow, and $5.00 later on. It’s absolutely stupid to be running like this, especially when the Regional Connector gets built, one seat ride becomes possile from Long Beach to Ontario. You say LA to Bakersfield is preposterous, well that’s what we’re doing: extending our Metro system across county lines over to San Bernardino, and Metro expects that they can run a system where going from Koreatown to DTLA should cost the same as Long Beach to San Bernardino County.

  9. calwatch,

    Do you really think blacks and Hispanics, or majority of the poor have a need to travel long distances here in LA? They do not live way out in the suburbs and commute into the city just to flip burgers earning minimum wage. They live in apartments in the city and work close by in LA.

    Places like New York and Atlanta where the poor live farther away from job centers, I understand the need of flat rate fares. but LA, the poor lives in the apartments in the city and they work nearby since LA has job centers spread out through out the city.

    Unless you can provide a direct income to home/work travel distance study that is based for Los Angeles, all you say is unfounded. And such a study would be easy to gather through our states W2 and income tax verification data as the FTB has the income statistics and it gathers the addresses of taxpayers’ home and work addresses.

  10. @Jules and Vincent

    So you are defending those who want to pay low, low, low fares, increase their own comfort level and decrease ridership with distance based fares.

    Very good but you are living in fantasyland. There are so many problems and inaccuracies with your post (and presumed facts) that it would take long to point them all out. But here is a partial list for you to consider:

    1. You state Flat fares promote suburbia A) LA already IS a huge Metropolis, so lets deal with the reality as it already is! Admit that LA is Metropolis and Flat Fares increasing suburbia is a fallacy: B) Using Bakersfield to LA as an example, as you do, is a remarkable exaggeration and you know it.

    2. You state you want higher density and more walkability and therefore Metro should aim for that A) Where will all the money come from to build housing, offices and jobs for all the people that you want in your utopia B) Corollary: will the new jobs and housing be for the poor and middle class or exclusively for the wealthy???? C) Will people still live in the suburbs or will suburbia be demolished similar to Detriot D) your utopia could be a dystopian future

    3) Asia in particular uses distance based fares and are profitable A) you do understand that Metro is not run for profit and the chances that it ever will be are close to nil. Take a breath and admit to yourself that that is true. If still can’t admit it to yourself, take as much time as you need to consider how dismantling Metro could occur and what steps would need to take place. Comparing Asian transit systems to Metro might be fun on the face of it but your continued efforts to do so are fundamentally flawed and inaccurate.

    4. You make some rant about taking a job in Downtown versus the San Fernando Valley. A) I can’t really make sense of your rant but nevertheless is it really that simple as finding two jobs simultaneously that allows you to choose between THOSE EXACT LOCATIONS!?!? How about where you are living, and are you renting under a lease, own your own home, or the cost of rents closer to your job, time to get to work etc. etc. Did you even consider that? Whatever your rant, it is a preposterous supposition and you clearly are not making a clear argument. You really are making the Dr. chuckle.

  11. Utah is NOT implementing distance based fares on buses. As shown in your articles they are clearly studying the issue. And, researchers have found that further study is needed to ensure that non-whites and Hispanics are not discriminated against, which is required under Federal Title VI. I am sure no one wants Metro to be scrutinized because Blacks and Latinos make longer trips than Whites.

    “For two of the most transit dependent populations, low income households and the elderly, we find that given their expected trip-making rates and distances, the distance-based fare we analyzed is expected to lower their costs for public transit. The screening mechanism however identified locations, far away from the central business district, where fares charged to non-white (and potentially Hispanic) travelers may increase. These screened locations, however, were few compared to the dense concentration of non-white and Hispanic census tracts near the center of the city, where fares are more likely to decrease. In order to better understand the potential impact distance-based fares may have on this population, we recommend that a follow-up study of transit use be carried out in a number of suburban, minority and low-income neighborhoods. Such neighborhoods can be identified through continued exploration of transit fare maps for different socio-demographic profiles.”

  12. […] Metro released two options for raising fares across its system over the next seven years. With the Measure R restrictions on increasing student and elderly fares approaching their end and TAP technology now in use, Metro is more than ready to completely revamp the way it charges riders for its services. One option would raise the base fare from the current $1.50 to $1.75 in September 2014, to $2 in 2018 and to $2.25 in 2021. The second option would keep the base fare at $1.50 during off-peak hours and raise the fare to $2.25 during peak hours for three years; both fares would be raised again to $2 in off-peak hours and $3.25 in peak hours. […]

  13. calwatch,

    “As far as distance based fares on bus goes, you have to understand that two thirds of Americans have never been overseas (outside of North America).”

    To put it another way, one-thirds of Americans has and the number keeps growing as Baby Boomers start to retire and go to see the world and Millennial are more open-minded to seeing the world. And one-thirds of Americans is 100 million people.

    One hundred million is around the entire population of Mexico (113 million) and Japan (128 million)

    So your point is? Should we wait until the number of Americans abroad reaches 50%? Isn’t 100 million people “not enough” to be a big voice?

  14. Caesar J,

    Right. And yet, over across the Pacific, everyone from Seoul to Taipei, from Singapore to Tokyo, from Bangkok to Hong Kong, uses this system and they have the best transit system in the world, one that puts all of American transit systems to shame. And guess what, they are all self-supported and very profitable, not requiring the need of any form of government assistance to keep them afloat or in operation.

    Consider this:

    You can either have a crowded bus where everyone wants to stay on for the longest trip, where it’s so crowded that people who want to get on can’t and has to wait for the next bus because everyone wants make up the “best bang for the buck” on a flat rate fare system,


    You can have a less crowded bus because people start using the buses and trains for short, hop-on and hop-off trips, so they get their needs done close by rather than spending all the time on the bus.

    After all, isn’t that Metro’s ultimate goal? To create a city that is walkable and transit friendly? That means, rebuilding the needs to get by life closer together. So why should Metro ENCOURAGE longer trips and PUNISH shorter trips by a flat rate system when their ultimate goal is a walkable, transit friendly city where people can have everything they need to get through life closer together?

    Flat rate systems only encourage suburban growth – make people live and work farther and farther away, like living in the San Fernando Valley and working in DTLA. Heck, you want it that way, go ahead. Maybe we can have a single bus ride all the way to Bakersfield and Las Vegas for $1.50. Should we build a light rail system from Los Angeles to New York so that everyone can go from the West Coast to the East Coast for $1.50? That’s what you’re saying.

    Or we can encourage higher density, less ditch the car lifestyle so that people can walk, bike, and encouraged to take public transit for shorter trips where everything is nearby. You live in the San Fernando Valley, then use the bus to go to a job within San Fernando Valley. If a job in SFV and DTLA pays the same, but the bus fare within SFV was $0.80 as opposed to $2.25 to DTLA, you’ll be better off financially and saving money by taking the job within SFV, which is where you live. Under a flat rate structure, taking a job within SFV or DTLA, doesn’t make a difference, you just end up paying the same $2.25 price whether you take the same paying job in SFV or commuting all the way to DTLA.

  15. calwatch,

    So why is Salt Lake City implementing distance based fares on their buses?

    Straight from the UTA website:

    “How does FAREPAY work?

    Once you’ve purchased your FAREPAY card and loaded it with money, you’re ready to ride. Just tap your card on the card reader when boarding and exiting UTA BUSES and TRAINS. The cost of your ride will automatically be deducted from the value on your FAREPAY card.”

    Note it specifically says TAP-on and TAP-off from UTA BUSES AND TRAINS, and that cost of your ride is deducted automatically from your smart card.

  16. The Taipei MRT uses distance-based fares, but the buses in Taipei (and Kaohsiung) do not – it’s just a flat rate*. If you use the EasyCard (their much-better-version of the TAP card), you get discounts: on the MRT alone, MRT & then bus, bus & then MRT. There aren’t “transfers”, per se, but you do get perks for 1) using the card and 2) combining MRT & bus on trips (I don’t think you get a discount for bus to bus). The time limit is 2 hours, although the system still gave me a discount even though I was a few minutes past the 2 hour mark. And since you also tap out when exiting the MRT station, the 2 hour countdown starts from then (not from when you first entered the station).

    *For longer bus routes, they do collect twice the fare – the way they do this is that if you get on in the 1st part of the route, you tap when boarding. If you board in the 2nd part of the route, you do not tap when boarding – you tap when you exit. If you got on the bus in the 1st part of the route and stayed on past the mid-way point, you would have tapped when you boarded, and then be required to tap again when you get off. Some of the buses do have validators in the back as well as the front.

    One of the biggest problems I can see for Metro (and probably most US cities) is implementing and enforcing the dual-taps. Drivers already have a difficult enough time getting people to pay at all. How many riders just ignore the error trill when they tap their card and have to be called back up by the driver? I wonder what kind of learning curve there was in these other cities like Taipei and Tokyo, when they introduced these RFID cards or distance-based fares.

  17. Zone charges are useful for commuter express buses, because there are long segments where you are not picking anyone up and there is a lot of deadheading due to peak direction service. To account for the natural turnover, this makes sense. Metro no longer operates standard commuter express service except for the 442, which is only being kept due to political reasons as it fails ridership tests.

    As far as distance based fares on bus goes, you have to understand that two thirds of Americans have never been overseas (outside of North America). No transit agency in the US, Canada, or Mexico has ever attempted to implement distance based fares anywhere near the level you would need for Metro Bus. At best they use the zone system, and Golden Gate Transit, the closest thing to distance based fares in the country, has all trips within Marin County as a single “zone”. You could do a hybrid system, where rail is distance based (i.e. WMATA) and bus is flat, but that won’t placate the purists who think that no one should be allowed to travel from Sylmar to Long Beach on a base fare, even if they spend three hours on a local or Rapid bus to do it. Also, imagine having to explain the nuances of distance based fares in all of the eight Title VI languages, and noting that Metro is under extreme scrutiny by the Federal Government for complying with Title VI equal protection laws, after a negative finding. Converting an existing flat fare system to distance based fares is a total non-starter.

  18. I have never been able to understand why, if you have an EZ Pass, there is a need for a “zone charge”.

  19. I agree with others that while a free transfer benefit sounds great, the 90 minute time limit fineprint is a big hit-or-miss here in LA. It’s just like the ExpressLanes, it’s an unrealistic “gotcha” that doesn’t work in LA. It probably works in smaller, compact cities like New York and San Francisco because the city is so small. But in LA, the travel time really depends on street traffic conditions. And when it rains, the traffic gets worse. Metro’s coverage area is way too big and the issue brought up with the time lag between TAP in at the turnstiles to the train coming as well as the constant delays on the Metro Rail system are also a valid points to consider.

    I think Metro should consider extending the time limit, getting rid of it, or seriously consider pay-by-the-distance fares. Let’s not make the same mistake like the ExpressLanes where there was a restriction placed onto it, only to have huge public outcry later once it starts because of the lack of failing to consider real world cases.

  20. LA is a huge city and a huge county. Distance based fares are not going to persuade commuters to leave their cars and try transit.

    Distance based fares will be good for those who only travel a few miles and want low, low, low, fares and not pay much money. A commentator above sees distance based fares as a cause of celebration because with a reduction in the use of Metro caused by distance based fares, there will be less crowding. So, in review, distance based fares will lead to a decline in ridership (and more comfort room) and a decline in the amount of money that these distance based fare boosters will need to spend. Selfishness it is not!!!! There must be a Dr. Evil joke here somewhere……………..

    It goes without saying that distance based fares are not good for anyone else, such as the many people who ride the Silver or Orange lines. Or the many other people who must travel long distances. Let the division of LA begin with distance based fares and the needs of those who want to save money, create comfort and reduce ridership.

  21. @ Jules and Vincent

    The Japanese method solves nothing. You just switch the method in which the cheater cheats.

    Rider gets on at stop A at the rear of the bus. Taps in at stop L. Exits and Taps out at stop M. Driver is in the front and is of none the wiser when the passenger taps in or not.

  22. @ Jules and Vincent: In Japan, do busses accept cash at the rear door? Do they accept cash anywhere?

  23. The possibility of cheating on distance fare buses can be solved easily. This is how they do it in Japan: Make everyone board from the back and exit out the front.

    This solves two things. No more yelling move back because people will board from the back so the back fills up first. When you exit from the front, you have to TAP out and you can’t cheat because it’s in plain view of the bus driver.

    One thing is certain, distance fares will discourage longer trips as they have to pay more for longer trips so they’ll be less overall crowding, and more shorter hop on and hop off trips. This also benefits the poor who are likely to have jobs closer to where they live. Not everyone has a big home out in the valley and commutes into DTLA. A vast majority of the people living in LA are renters in multi family complexes and they tend to have service sector jobs nearby. Forcing a flat rate fare hike only hurts them instead of helping them.

    Metro, there’s no fooling anyone. You can’t hide the concept of distance fares and people will not remain ignorant about new ideas in the age of Google. Anyone who is capable of posting a reply here can search or YouTube these things at their fingertips.

  24. Brian B.

    Do you have evidence to back up your claims that the “poor travel longer distances?” If anything, the majority of the poor travel short. People earning minimum wage don’t live way out in the suburbs to come flip burgers at McDonalds in the city. They live in apartments and they have jobs close by. They’re the baggage handlers at LAX living in Inglewood, they are the stockers at Ralph’s, they’re the baristas at your Starbucks.

  25. Sticking with flat rate fares when we have contactless smart card technology is like still using a typewriter with carbon copy sheets in the age of computers and internet. Why is it that grade school kids in Japan can figure this out to go to school everyday on distance based fares but Metro still pondering how to do this? They might as fire everyone working at Metro and hire 6th graders from Japan if they’re too dumb to figure out how to do it!

  26. Props for the plan to (eventually) eliminate the surcharge for Silver Line service, which has kept regular Metro riders like me from trying the line. I can see the argument for time-based fares, but agree with others on here that 90 minutes is just too short, especially considering the size of Metro’s service area and the unpredictability of LA traffic in which most Metro buses need to travel. I also agree with many other commenters that distance-based fares should at least be an option up for consideration.

  27. The year is 2014. A global information network puts the contents of a thousand encyclopedias at my fingertips. In my pocket I carry a computer more powerful than the sum total of all the computers that existed when I was born. Drivers are obsolete, as cars now drive themselves.

    And poor, backwards Metro STILL can’t figure out how to do fare capping.

  28. Metro Transit, a smaller transit agency in the Minneapolis/St.Paul region currently charges more than LA Metro. $1.75 off peak/$2.25 on peak. They also offer unlimited transfers but with a longer window of 2.5 hours than the 90 minutes proposed.

  29. I keep seeing people use the “D” word, and I’m not seeing any distance based pricing here. It is all time based which is relatively the same way it works in some of the other major cities. Since 2010, I’ve ridden buses and (local) trains/subways in Santa Clara, San Diego, New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Boston and Chicago. On not one of these systems did I pay under $1.75. I was fascinated by Chicago’s system. It required you to buy a reloadable card for bus/rail transit. The system appropriately charged me the lower transfer fare after I got on the bus since it “knew” I had “tapped” 30 minutes earlier.

    Most of this is already implementable here given that your TAP movements are already tracked. My only issue is that when I review my TAP history, I sometimes see that a bus/train was “missed”.

  30. I understand that you need to raise fares.

    I have a budget that I have to stick to.

    Why is it that the MTA has a budget, and is unable to stick to that budget?
    We all work hard to try to save, but we do not have the same access as the MTA to say, “I want a Certain Percentage raise.” I am aware that MTA has union contracts and need to fulfull thier raises as noted in the contract, but they also need to understand that the Riders pay their salary, not the MTA.

  31. The price changes for the monthly EZ Passes are flat out crazy , we can never compare ourselves to other large cities in the United States , because we can not provide the same level of service . Most other large cities offer further distace out on their metro lines and most offer 24 hour rail service , neither we have so changing the prices to these extremely high levels make no sense.

  32. Distance-based fares on a bus would undoubtedly be tricky because of the security issues. Of course, tricky is not the same thing as impossible, but it cheaters are a potential issue.

    However, distance-based fares should make perfect sense for a gated subway station. Or even an ungated light rail station with TAP pylons right at the entrance.

    One thing is certain: Distance-based should have stopped being complicated to calculate when they rolled out electronic fare cards.

  33. Regarding the fare amounts, let me also point out that the SF Muni charges $2 for a 90-minute transfer, $6 for a SINGLE BOARDING on cable cars, $15 for a day-pass (including cable cars), $23 for a 3-day pass, and $29 for a 7-day pass. (Monthliy passes are only $66, though.) And Chicago is $2 for a bus fare, $2.25 for “L” fare, an extra 25 cents for a transfer, $10 for a day pass, $20 for 3 days, and $28 for 7 days.

    So the fare schedules aren’t really very bad at all.

  34. In L.A., a distance-based pricing would disproportionately hurt the poor/working class because they generally travel the longest distances to get to work/school/etc. from their homes. Stop arguing for distance-based pricing as the best pricing scheme for Los Angeles, as different structures work best for different cities and demographic geographies.

    But I agree — the system can be improved, and there are legitimate improvements proposed (free transfers within a specified time limit, consolidating monthly passes with the EZ transit pass for transfers between systems, etc.). Absolutely free public transportation would be the best system for all. But that’s never going to happen.

  35. Tapping out on a bus sounds like an invitation to cheat.

    Board at stop A. Tap in.
    Step to the rear of the bus. Tap out at stop B. Stay on the bus.
    Continue riding free until stop N. Exit bus.

    Repeat for the trip back:
    Board at stop N. Tap in.
    Step to the rear of the bus. Tap out at stop M. Stay on the bus.
    Continue riding free until stop A. Exit bus.

    What’s to stop this from happening?