New Fares Approved by Valley Metro Board
One-ride fare increases by $.50 for local bus and METRO
Phoenix, AZ (March 19, 2009) Ideally, no fare increase for the regional transit system is preferred, but not realistic with current economic conditions. Today, the Valley Metro Board of Directors approved an increase that would include offering a discount to riders purchasing one-day passes off of the bus.
As an example, currently, a one-day pass for local bus or light rail is $2.50, or twice the amount of the one-trip fare of $1.25. On July 1, a one-trip fare will change to $1.75 and the off-board price remains at two times the one-trip fare or $3.50. A premium is charged for purchasing a fare on-board the bus, which is three times the one-trip fare or $5.25.
“We want to encourage our bus passengers to purchase their one-day fares online or at fare vending machines, transit centers or retail outlets,” said David A. Boggs, Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority (RPTA) Executive Director. “This will help speed-up the boarding of our buses.”
To maintain a business standard set forth by the Board in 2007, the goal of the regional agency is to recover at least 25 percent of the cost of bus operations from fares. The METRO rail system has adopted the same goal. Without the increase, the standard would fall to 23.4 percent in the next fiscal year. Prior to a 2007 fare change the last fare increase was in 1994. On December 1, 2007, the fare change kept one-ride fares the same at $1.25, but eliminated transfers, tickets and tokens and increased 31-day pass prices. The new pricing will take effect on July 1, 2009.
“We’ve seen operations costs continue to increase over the years and a fare increase is the next step to ensure that we are operating at the standard set forth by our Board,” said Boggs.
Rural fares, affecting routes that travel from Ajo/Gila Bend and Wickenburg, will increase approximately $1.00 per trip. Also impacted are the Phoenix Paratransit Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) fares (Dial-a-Ride) and East Valley ADA Paratransit (Dial-a-Ride) fares. Details about all fare changes can be viewed at www.valleymetro.org.
Bus and METRO light rail fares that take effect on Wednesday, July 1, 2009 are shown in the following chart.
July 1, 2009
Fare Policy Rules
Base cash fare for bus or light rail
3 x base fare
2 x base fare
3 x 1-day off-board
5 x 1-day off-bus
31 x local base fare
Base fare + $1.00
Local on-board 1-day + $2.00
Local off-board 1-day + $2.00
31 x express cash fare
0.5 x base fare
0.5 x local on-board 1-day
0.5 x local off-board 1-day
0.5 x local 3-day
5 x 1-day off-bus
0.5 x local 31-day
0.5 x Semester pass
0.5 x Semester pass
It is anticipated that many customers will begin to purchase their fares online or at one of the retail outlets in the Valley. Passengers may currently go to www.valleymetro.org to purchase fare in advance or go to one of many outlets also listed on the website. Current fare purchase options include:
Over 80 outlets in Maricopa County (9 Cities)
City Hall, Public Libraries, Chamber of Commerce
Eight Transit Centers
Grocery Stores and Utilities (Fry’s Food, Food City, APS)
Social Help Groups and Employers
Online at ValleyMetro.org (averaging $30k – $50k per month)
Fare Vending Machines (100 units along the 20-mile METRO corridor)
Automatic Mail Plan enables customers to obtain all passes, including Dial-a-Ride tickets and passes (Phoenix), via the mail.
Phoenix city council will be considering the fare change at an upcoming meeting as they incorporate the change into their city’s fare ordinance. The Phoenix Dial-a-Ride (ADA) fares must be approved by the city council before they are considered approved.
Valley Metro/RPTA provides eco-friendly public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix and Maricopa County, including a clean-fuel bus fleet, low-emissions light rail, a bio-diesel Dial-a-Ride fleet, online carpool matching and bus trip mapping, and bicycle and telework assistance. Funding is provided by local, state and federal revenues; and administered by a board of 15 governments working to improve and regionalize the public transit system. www.ValleyMetro.org
*Update* Here is a link to the new chart for the bus and light rail fare changes: