Thursday, January 17, 2008
At yesterday's meeting of Metro's Finance and Budget Subcommittee staff raised the specter of changing the age needed to receive the "Senior Discount" from 62 to 65. All residents currently receiving the discount would be grandfathered in. In response to a question from the audience, Board Member John Fasana clarified that such a change would not constitute a fare increase and would not require a public outreach process.
Long-time transit advocate John Walsh disagreed, "If you think you've had protesters at meetings before, you'll have 5,000 angry people if you go ahead and do this...and we'll see you in court!" (Incidently, every Metro meeting I go to has at least one angry member of the public shout "I/we'll see you in court!")
One reason Metro is considering changing the discount is the aid requirements created by the state and federal government. As explained by a Foothill Transit staffer during their fare increase, changing local and base fares reduces the amount of state aid you (an agency) can receive.
While there may not be a formal process to review such a plan, there are two ways to voice your opinion: Metro's monthly board meeting is next Thursday at their headquarters and the next online chat with the Board chair is scheduled for noon, next Wednesday.