Online calculator shows how our fare capping proposal affects your fares

We’re holding a virtual public hearing at 5 p.m., Monday, November 14, on proposed changes to our fares that will lower costs for many riders. Click here to try our new online calculator that will let you see how the fare proposal may change your fare and lower your costs.  

Under our fare proposal, no rider ever overpays, and our most frequent riders — who rely on the system — pay less. The proposed fare system introduces daily and weekly fare capping in which no one will pay more than $6 a day or $20 a week for unlimited rides.  

That means you will no longer have to purchase daily, weekly or 30-day Metro passes in advance. You pay as you go with Stored Value on TAP cards — and when you reach the fare cap then you pay no more. 

Here are the proposed new fares. Under the proposal, transfers are being replaced with fare capping. 

More information about the fare change proposal can be found at www.metro.net/simplefares. 

The virtual public hearing will be live-streamed at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14. Watch here.

You can submit your written testimony by email at SimpleFares@metro.net. In the subject line write: Public Hearing on Metro Fares. 

Public comments by regular mail should be postmarked by Nov. 14, 2022, and mailed to:  

Metro Board Clerk RE: Public Hearing on Metro Fare Changes  

1 Gateway Plaza, 99-3-1  

Los Angeles, CA 90012 

Categories: Policy & Funding, Projects

13 replies

  1. This is great. Please implement it!

    This should be a perfect chance to also eliminate the requirement of re-TAP-ing when transferring between 2 rail lines, as long as the rider is still in the “paid area”. Right, who would do that? But at least that is the rule. For example, in Pico Station (transferring between A Line & E Line), in Wilshire / Vermont Station (transferring between B Line & D Line), and the future stations along the Regional Connector, if the rider is making the transfer in the paid area, re-TAP-ing should not be necessary.

    • I’m guessing Metro might still do this to get a full fare from people who previously transferred from another agency at a discount.

      This is also something they should look into capping, if possible, as the rider ends up paying more than the two agencies would charge separately (without the transfer fee). The only way around it is to plan ahead and use separate TAP cards for each agency (to avoid the transfer fee).

    • Agreed, the need to re-tap in such station situations is counterintuitive and easy for many choice riders or occasional riders to miss and adds unnecessary detours to an otherwise simple transfer experience within the paid zone. How is this going to work with the regional connector? Are riders going to have to re tap at the validators just to get on a same-platform transfer? How about at Wilshire / Vermont? Why should riders need to walk all the way upstairs to the station entrance and back down again just to get on another train that otherwise wouldn’t require such a detour? That’s completely ridiculous and goes against how virtually every other transit system in the world works. It’s time to Eliminate the need to re-tap at transfer stations if already in the paid area.

  2. The elephant in the room here is the reintroduction of the transfer penalty. That’s a real poison pill in Metro’s otherwise attractive proposal.

    There is no good reason why passengers should be forced to pay a second fare when transferring from one vehicle to another as part of a single trip. Metro itself acknowledged this, in 2014, by finally agreeing to charge passengers per trip rather than per vehicle. It would be a travesty if, as part of a supposed “convenience” to passengers, we were thrown back to the bad old days of having to pay again each time the system requires us to switch from one vehicle to another.

    Even with fare-capping, the reinstatement of transfer penalties will be harmful to passengers. A very concrete example is a round-trip on Metro involving two vehicles in each direction, say a train and a connecting bus. Currently, this costs $1.75 x 2 = $3.50. Under the proposed new fares, it would cost the full daily fare-capped amount of $6.00. That’s a 71% fare increase. It’s dishonest for Metro to be claiming that “Once fare capping is implemented, 2-hour Metro transfers will no longer be needed.”

    All this is even more troubling from an equity perspective. People who live in areas less well-served by public transportation are more likely to have to use two or more Metro vehicles as part of a one-way trip. It is unfair for such passengers to be further penalized by having to pay extra. That was one of the crucial arguments Metro itself used in 2014 to justify 2-hour free transfers.

    Charging passengers per vehicle goes against all industry best-practices. Other cities that have introduced fare-capping, such as New York City and London, have continued to allow free timed transfers for single trips. I fail to see why Los Angeles cannot do so as well. Reintroducing the much-despised transfer penalty would seriously undermine the benefits of the new fare proposal.

    I have e-mailed SimpleFares@metro.net to enter these observations into the public record. If you agree with me, I urge you to do so as well.

    • Agreed. I just sent an email. I don’t know what the cutoff time is for emails; hopefully an email from today at 23:30 will still count.

      I also find it problematic to have such a short notice before the public hearing. It was only a few weeks ago that Metro was teasing fare capping on this blog, with a hint that free transfers may be eliminated. I wrote a pretty detailed comment on that blog post regarding capping and free transfers, and said something to the effect that we’ll need to see the actual proposal with actual fares in order to evaluate it. Now it’s been less than a week since I last read this blog, and I almost missed the official comment deadline. Not nice, Metro.

  3. Thank you Metro for all you do. Please continue to make riding buses and trains safer for us and including cost.

  4. Looks idiotic when actual travel distance is considered which is what matters. The “online calculator” is deceiving because it only looks at how many rides you take, but doesn’t factor in how far you actually travel or gives out what you’re actually ending up paying per mile.

    Ok so you take 2 rides per day. How far is that ride? Is it a short distance, or is it long distance? What’s the cost per mile you’re actually ending up paying? Under this fare proposal, a person riding a short trip that involves a transfer will now pay $4.00 than someone taking a long trip without a transfer whose cost is $2.00.

    So let’s put this into perspective: a person who only rides Metro for 3 miles and it takes that person 2 Metro buses to get there will be charged $4.00, essentially charging that person $1.33 per mi. Meanwhile, a person traveling 15 miles from Santa Monica to 7th/Metro on the E line pays only $2.00, which comes to $0.13 per mi.

    Raising the fare flat across the board without factoring the Metro rider’s individual transit distance just doesn’t work. We need to move from a flat rate system to a distance based system just like every major city outside the US that runs better mass transit than we do.

    A better proposal would be:
    1. Have all fares start off at $1.00 when you initially board Metro Bus or Metro Rail
    2. Fares go up few cents per mile the farther you go like a taxicab system, continuing on with that few cents per mile rate for transfers, and it caps off at a certain price.
    3. This would ensure short distance riders will pay less regardless of transfers, longer distance riders will pay more of their fair share of taking longer trips, and the fare capping will ensure no one overpays than the daily, weekly, or monthly pass

  5. I’m a frequent visitor to LA area and this is great for our situation. We’re seniors who are active and enjoy going out and about. Making it more inviting and easier for tourists to use the lines, will increase revenues and that can’t be a bad thing.

  6. This is a good idea, with the major caveat of the elimination of free transfers.

    You shouldn’t penalize riders who require a transfer to complete their trip. It’s such an obviously bad idea. I don’t know why this is even being considered.

    Free transfers are a tent pole feature of any good transit system.

  7. Will this fare structure apply to municipal transit systems in the county? If not, and EZ pass is discontinued, I know this will be an incredible inconvenience for many of us

  8. Oof, I know this isn’t bait and switch-ing but man you are not really presenting the long term effects this will play considering the many agencies operating in the county.

    At what point does the “boo-hoo think about the poor” publicity stunts end and finally implement a fare system that ACTUALLY works?

    Don’t get me wrong, this could actually work IF Metro was running the show at the short distance routes while only 1 other agency was running the long distance rail/express bus routes, this way even something like an EZ Day Pass and multi-county TAP card would be possible, but considering the multiple agencies that operate in LA county this may cause more harm than good for that core ridership, you know, “the poor,” if passes like the EZ Pass become discontinued, literally counteracting what the so called purpose of this is supposed to be.

    Just give it up and implement distanced based fares already. Taxes are already high in California as it is and there is still no accurately and guaranteed fool-proof made proposal brought to the table about how free fares would even work. Distance Based Fares are now a world standard. Start at $1 for the first 3-5 miles then increase about $.25-$.50 mile then cap it at $3.50-$5.00 depending on the distance of the bus route. The goal should be the system paying for itself, not yet another on taxpayers of whom by the way, also includes your core ridership.

    Fare capping? While that genuinely sounds nice, This literally sounds like a complete jokes in other parts of the world and LA and New York (the 2 worst transit agencies in the world at the moment) want to implement it? That alone says a lot about the future of the state of transit on what also are the 2 biggest cities in the country as well.

  9. Terrible idea proposed by Metro. If you look at the full proposal they want to eliminate senior and student passes. This overall will end up costing passengers more. You should propose lowering fares not raising them. Especially in times of economic uncertainty like now, raising fares will only make it worse for the working people who use Metro.

  10. As a senior Life program rider with mobility issues who takes frequent short trips, I am not comforted that the cap will be 24 to 32 dollars a month for me as opposed to the 12 dollars a month I currently pay. The terms thrown around in the proposal remind me of the same gas lighting techniques used by various entities who want the voter to support their vague and complex propositions at the ballet box. Bottom line, a money grab being sold as a gift. “Equitable” means, “let’s ALL pay more”.