The media has been giving a lot of really good press to Metro as of late and many people are excited to see the light rail cars in action. In proving that not all stories have to be rosy, Kerry Fehr-Snyder reports today that preliminary discussions are in the works to raise fares for the bus and light rail systems. With less than 2 months before the Grand Opening Celebrations, this probably isn't exactly what these potential new riders want to hear. With the tax short falls in the state, the fares appear to be an easy target. Shorten hours, raise fares… Yeah, that'll get people to embrace ridership. Getting people off of the roads will be a lot harder should this fare structure be passed. Yeah, they say it will raise money but, in my opinion, it will decrease demand more on the light rail side than on the bus side. Commuters can still save a lot of money on the bus but the "casual" user might not opt to ride the light rail down town if the cost and convenience of driving isn't there. Arizona's sprawl mentality will have a much tougher chance to change if transit is not convenient and cost effective. We all know that there are options being discussed for ways to extend hours and add revenue so these fares could potentially change. November's Transportation Committee meeting will probably be very interesting! 🙂 Below is a list of proposed changes as reported by the Republic this morning.
• Local day passes would rise to $4.50 from $2.50.
• Express day passes would rise to $6.50 from $3.50.
• Thirty-one-day local passes would increase to $55 from $45, while 31-day express passes would rise to $85 from $68.
• Local passes would rise to $1.75 from $1.25.
• Express fares would rise to $2.75 from $1.75.
My .02 is that the proposed day pass rates suck but the "monthly" pass is still a bargain. Of course, I'll probably be purchasing the monthly pass. Please let us know what you think about the rates. It would be great to hear you opinion on the subject so we can do more follow up on this in the future.
No mention of what the basic fare will be? It’s been $1.25 since I moved here in 1991. I was ticked off when Valley Metro did away with transfers, requiring a new fare with each boarding, UNLESS you purchased a day pass. As I see it, transit loses a significant advantage with this move.
No doubt a fare increase is needed, but this is AWFULLY steep for a fare bump. Portland’s Tri-Met has an all-zone fare of $2.30 good for two hours, or an all-day pass at $4.75…but those increases were taken in much smaller increments over a period of time, so the pain was spread out over more than a couple of years. Furthermore, Tri-Met has a system that’s superb in service.
Valley Metro has a long way to go. And it’s going to cost us to make it better…
But I’ll still ride the train when it comes to an event at ASU or downtown Phoenix…beats a $10 parking fee and all the traffic!
Mark, you make some great points. I would also like to know the “basic fare.” Will it be $2.25? – In San Fran a ticket is good for a period of time as well, maybe that would be another option here. I will be sure to ask some of these questions at the upcoming transportation committee meeting…
Politicians always say the economy is going down so we need to raise taxes. Then they turn around and say the economy is going up so we need to raise taxes. Typical. Kind of kicks people when they are down. And it hurts the people that need to use the system the most.
I wish they would manage the system like a business and put money away for a rain day. Oh… that is right they do, but then they spend it. 😉
I just took another look at this story…and I think it was there all along. Looks like a “local pass” moves from $1.25 to $1.75.
Still, it would behoove Valley Metro to look farther ahead and make the inevitable fare hikes in smaller increments. Thanks, Nick, for taking these items to the Metro folks…