Metro Fare Increase Postponed, Will Take Effect September 15th

New Metro fares effective September 15 2014. Image from Metro Briefing Document
New Metro fares effective September 15 2014 – page 1 of 2. Image from Metro Briefing Document

In a change that’s more procedural than policy-driven, Metro has slightly postponed its fare increase that had been approved for September 1. The new fares will take effect on Monday, September 15th.

The fare increase was approved at Metro’s May board meeting. Base bus/train fare will increase 17 percent, going from $1.50 to $1.75. Senior fares and all daily/monthly/weekly passes also increase 25-40 percent. With the new fares, Metro is instituting a new 2-hour free transfer window, though it only applies to customers paying via TAP card.

The new September 15th implementation date has not been publicized yet – though Metro will be getting the word out widely by mid-August. Streetsblog learned of it via this Metro briefing document which was publicized by Twitter user @Calwatch.

Metro spokesperson Rick Jager confirmed the new date, and explained the change as follows:

In approving the new fares, it was always noted on public hearing notices and press releases that the new fare changes could be implemented on Sept. 1, 2014 or later. Staff chose the Sept. 15th date as to not impact sales of the EZ Monthly Pass which is sold to customers beginning on the 25th of the month through the 10th of the following month. (Meaning that some customers would pay one price when purchased at the end of the month vs. another price in the beginning of the month).

Also in May, the Metro board deferred raising student fares, freezing them at $1.00 pending further study. In what seems like an adherence to the letter of the law more than the spirit of the law, the Metro briefing document makes it clear that the new 2-hour free transfer will not apply to students paying the reduced fare.

  • weshigh

    Is there any info on how these transfers will work? Do you have to tell the driver its a transfer before you tap. or does the system know you purchased a ticket within the past 2 hours so doesn’t charge you again?

  • bryan

    I know this is a moot point, but I am curious about it. Is Rick Jager saying that prior to changing the date, Metro was going to sell EZ passes for September at the old rate ($84) until September 1 and then at the new rate ($110) after September 1, even though the passes are for use only under the new rate regime? Why would they do that?

  • nomascerveza

    In the PDF on Page 5 says 2 hours of transfers on different lines. Stored Value on TAP only. I assume that the TAP card knows the 2 hour window and you just keep tapping and the screen will tell you how much time you got left. But this is Metro so I’m sure it will work like shit.

    No round trips, so if you got on the 2 @ Sunset Junction and rode to Echo park to get some beer and you wanted to continue on to DTLA you would have to get on the 4 or 704 to transfer for free. If you jumped back on the 2 it would charge you again.

  • weshigh

    Thanks for the info. Thats unfortunate its not a blanket transfer. That is a vary similar situation that would make me use the bus more than I do now. It’ll cost $7 for me and my wife to take the bus the 2 miles and back. I’ve also had to get off at a stop to use the bathroom on cross town trips.

  • calwatch

    There is additional information at http://www.metro.net/riding/new-fares/

    Supposedly, if the fare increase went into effect on September 1, that would affect EZ transit pass sales starting in August, but possibly coordination and notification with pass sales vendors could be an issue. (Remember not to use “EZ Pass” as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will sue you.)

    As for transfers, “When the TAP* card is tapped at the first boarding, the two hour free transfer period begins. Riders must tap their cards at each subsequent boarding and the TAP* card system will recognize if the user is within the two hour transfer window. Riders will be able to transfer an unlimited number of times from one bus or rail line to another within the two hour window. For example, a passenger could transfer from the Gold Line to the Red Line to the Expo Line all on one fare. However, transferring from the Gold Line back to the Gold Line, for example, will not be allowed. Transfers back to the same bus or rail line where the rider’s TAP* card was last used is not allowed.”

    There are situations where one must transfer to the same line to continue their trip. These include the 180 Lake Avenue night shuttle, the 79 shuttle to Huntington and Alpha, Orange Line branches, any time limited service overlaps with local service (since usually limited service operates the long line). Also I’m not sure how this would work at areas where multiple rail lines meet. Since lines like 78-79 are on the same paddle as each other transfers need to be allowed within branches, but then in the overlap area passengers get a free return trip or stopover provided they catch the different line. I’m trying to compile a list of these and send them so that the exclusions still apply there.

  • Collin1000

    That issue seems to be why they changed the date, correct. It also could be a matter of public outreach – if they set it for Sept 1, they’d have about a month for public outreach. Sept 15 buys them an extra two weeks and it removes the monthly pass issue.

  • Collin1000

    The pros and cons vary based on how you ride. My single seat trip from CSUN to the Chatsworth Metrolink will go up by 25 cents, but my two seat trip from Reseda to Union Station just went down by $1.25 one way. Round trip, what used to be $5 is now $3.50. This is an excellent deal for the many riders who transfer. It also encourages people to take the most efficient route possible, instead of a possibly longer route with less transfers.

  • Art

    Metro is actually LOWERING fares for 98% of Metro customers (people who make round trips).

    The new round-trip Base Fare is $3.50 is the equivalent of a Day Pass because of the new two-hour free transfer policy.

    The new fare is:
    > 50% cheaper than $7 Day Pass
    > 30% cheaper than $25 Weekly Pass
    > 26% cheaper than $100 30-day Pass

    The downside is that P.M. boardings will take twice as long (because fewer people will be purchasing passes)

    Do the math. It’s obvious Metro didn’t.

    Amazing!

  • Joe Linton

    Oh, that’s why Metro is projecting $28 million per year in increased revenue!

  • darryl

    Man fuck metro, not everybody can afford to pay extra money , I really don’t understand why you would try to fix something that was never broken in the first place, now I have to miss work because I don’t have enough to get to where I need to go… I will never agree with this…. Making more money off of riders when you already make enough to begin with…. This is stupid and not considerate.