Two Public Information Sessions Tomorrow for Proposed Metro Fare Increase
Director of Communications
Two public information sessions regarding the proposed Metro Transit fare increase are scheduled for tomorrow, April 18, at St. Louis City Hall (Rotunda) and the St. Louis County Government Center (second floor). The first public information session tomorrow will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at St. Louis City Hall. The second session tomorrow will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the St. Louis County Government Center in Clayton. A public hearing on the fare increase will be held Thursday evening, April 19, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Metro Headquarters located at 707 North First Street in Downtown St. Louis.
The public information sessions are presented in an open house format where the public is invited to learn more about three fare increase options under consideration and to ask Metro staff questions about the options.
Each of the three options would provide an approximate 5 percent increase in passenger revenue. The options include:
• an increase in the 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 and vehicle parts. 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 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. 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 an approximate 5 percent across-the-board increase for all fares including cash fares, passes and Metro Call-A-Ride fares.
The public is asked to select one of the three fare increase options. Metro’s Board of Commissioners will approve the fare increase amounts and timing of the fare change after considering public comments.
The public hearing on April 19 at Metro Headquarters in the 6th floor Board Room 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. Bi-State area residents may also comment on the proposed fare increase options by phone at 314-335-3433; by email at FareIncrease2012@metrostlouis.org, 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. The fare increase is anticipated to go into effect in July 2012.