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Metro Board Changes Course on Senior Fares

5:43 PM PST on January 24, 2008

Last week, Street Heat was the only media source of any kind to cover that Metro was considering raising the age necessary to receive a "senior discount" to 65. This week, Metro's board reversed course completely, not only rejecting the plan to raise the age to receive a discount on cash fares during rush hour, they lowered the age required to receive the off peak discount to age 62 with a unanimous vote. All senior fares now apply to riders aged 62 and over, including the off peak fare of 25 cents.

The motion to change the fare proposal was put forward by transit rider Antonio Villaraigosa, the real hero of the story is Board Member Bonnie Lowenthal, who resisted raising the age necessary for a "senior discount" in committee after it passed a separate committee with a unanimous vote.
The Board's change in attitude was met with applause in the room, including hand clapping of my own. (I believe you shouldn't raise fares without a public hearing whether it be by reducing a discount or ending a subsidized transfer.)
Despite the exhuberence, there was one major question left unasked. How does Metro plan on charging anyone less money while they're in a well-documented cash crunch?

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