DASH to Offer Monthly Passes on All Routes
The LADOT announced at today’s City Council hearing that soon riders will be able to buy monthly DASH passes instead of carrying around a pocket full of quarters every time they want to take the bus. No date was given in the report for when monthlies will be available, but a successful pilot program has already been run on two lines, at the request of Councilmembers Tom LaBonge and Wendy Greuel. That some areas already have monthly passes suggests that all DASH riders will be able to get monthly passes before the summer.
The cost of a monthly DASH pass will be $9.00, or the current cost of 36 individual rides at the full fare. If a rider doesn’t ride 36 times per month, LADOT suggests purchasing a ticket book which has 60 tickets for $15 and doesn’t provide a discount over the base fare.
LADOT states that demand for a monthly pass increased dramatically because of Metro’s decision to terminate the pass reimbursement plan where riders could transfer for free from Metro buses to DASH buses. When this cancellation was announced in the fall of 2007, LADOT was not happy and repeatedly slammed Metro in public meetings and press releases.
While one can certainly question the policy of changing a fare reimbursement plan in the middle of a fiscal year, a "stealth fare hike" as I called it at Street Heat at the time, it is good to see that LADOT is trying to make some good out of the situation by modernizing part of its fare collection system. However, the city shouldn’t consider this a last step in modernizing and should continue working with Metro until riders can purchase one card and ride on any of the transit routes offered county-wide.
Photo: Reto Kurmann/Flickr