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April 11, 2012

Public Meetings Next Week for Proposed Metro Fare Increase

Dianne Williams
Director of Communications

A proposed fare increase by Metro Transit will be the topic of three public information sessions next week as well as a public hearing. The general public is invited to learn more about three fare increase options under consideration. Each of the three options would provide an approximate 5 percent increase in passenger revenue. The options include:

• an increase in weekly, monthly, and semester pass prices
• increase in the 2-hour pass (includes a transfer), weekly, monthly and semester pass prices
• increase in all fare prices

Passenger revenue is a critical source of funding for the Metro Transit system, and today it supports 22 percent of the cost to provide transit service. The balance of the service is supported by local sales taxes and other forms of grants and assistance.

The cost of operating the Metro Transit system is constantly rising because of increases in costs such as fuel, vehicle parts, and medical benefit expenses. Periodic fare increases were included as a key component of the region’s long range transit plan, Moving Transit Forward. The plan calls for raising fares by a small percentage approximately every two years to address the transit system’s growing capital and operating needs, while avoiding sudden dramatic fare increases. The fare increase will help financially support the existing transit system and preserve plans for service enhancements.

Options 1 and 2 maintain the current $2 (MetroBus), $2.25 (MetroLink) and $4 (Metro Call-A-Ride) cash fares without any change. Reduced cash fares for eligible seniors, children and customers with disabilities would also remain the same.

Option 1 would increase the prices of Metro passes to more accurately reflect the number of boardings made using these passes. Monthly passes would increase from $68 to $75 ($34 to $37.50 for reduced fare); weekly passes would increase from $23.50 to $26; and the college semester pass from $145 to $155.

Option 2 also retains the current cash fare but would increase the price of the 2-hour pass/transfer from $2.75 to $3 (reduced fare would increase from $1.35 to $1.50.) Option 2 would preserve a greater discount rate for the weekly, monthly, and semester passes than Option 1 would do. Option 2 would increase weekly passes from $23.50 to $25; monthly passes would increase from $68 to $72 ($34 to $36 for reduced fare); and the college semester pass would increase from $145 to $150.

Option 3 would implement a 5 percent across the board fare increase for all fares, including cash fares, passes and Metro Call-A-Ride fares.

The public will be asked to give feedback on the three options. Metro’s Board of Commissioners will approve the fare increase amounts and timing of the fare change after considering the public comments.

Each public information session will be an open house format with Metro staff available to discuss the possible changes and the reasons the changes are being proposed. A public hearing on April 19 will include a formal presentation at 6 p.m., and the remaining time will be available for individuals or agencies to comment in person or in writing. Area residents may also comment on the proposed fare increase options by phone at 314-335-3433; by email at [email protected], or by regular mail:

Metro, Attn: Planning – Fare Increase 2012
707 North 1st Street
St. Louis, MO 63102

Metro will accept public comment until Friday, April 27, 2012. It is anticipated that the fare increase will go into effect in July 2012.

Public Meeting Schedule

Monday, April 16, 2012
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
East St. Louis City Hall
Rotunda (1st Floor)
301 River Park Drive
East St. Louis, Illinois 62201

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
St. Louis City Hall
Rotunda (1st Floor)
1200 Market Street
St. Louis, Missouri 63103

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
St. Louis County Government Center
Second Floor
41 South Central
Clayton, Missouri 63105

Public Hearing
Thursday, April 19, 2012
5 p.m. – 7 p.m. (Formal presentation at 6 p.m.)
Metro Headquarters
Board Room
707 North First Street
St. Louis, Missouri 63102

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