Metro Fare Increase Postponed, Will Take Effect September 15th
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.