Doubling Efforts on Metro’s Fare Studies?

It is interesting that Steve Hymon reports that Metro Board member Diane Dubois asked for a staff report on fare restructuring at the last Metro Board meeting. My curiosity is piqued mostly because such a study is already underway. I know this from viewing the staff presentation on it made at the March 27, 2013 Metro Citizens’ Advisory Council meeting.

Metro Board members have been briefed about the study so DuBois should know about the duplication of effort her motion entails. But evidently no mention of the in-progress study was made at the Board meeting. While the response to her motion will be made this month the fare study won’t be ready until mid-Summer.

Note the emphasis on base fare (which admittedly are quite low compared to peers) versus passes (Metro’s passes are about in the mid range) in the staff presentation. Also it continues a longtime staff drumbeat regarding farebox recovery (transit industry jargon for the percentage of operations costs that are covered by fare revenues). A longtime

Metro observer has told me he perceives an imbalance in the fare structure that should be addressed by raising the base fare to $2 and lowering the monthly pass to $60. Since the longtime fixation of the Metro Board (on both equity grounds and political expediency) is to keep the base fare low that scenario has about zero chances of happening anytime soon.

My thanks to Nalini Ahujo, Executive Director, Office of Management and Budget at Metro for sharing the February presentation that I then arranged to have posted online via Scribd.

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