Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Metro Proposing Fare Increases

Metro, our public transit system which includes Metrolink, is predicting budget shortfalls. To maintain current levels of service, the system is proposing rate increases.

Monthly passes for Metrolink are available for $60 (not sure if that gets you unlimited bus ridership as well). One-way Metrolink tickets are $2 apiece.

With the cost of gasoline and downtown parking, Metro fares seem low. I don't know how our rates compare to those in most other regions, but I do know that Metrolink fares are a tiny fraction compared to the fares charged on the Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART).

Increasing public transit fares during tough economic times will be a large pill for some to swallow, especially those living on low and fixed incomes. On the other hand, given the rapidly increasing cost of operating single person occupany vehicles, maintaining the capacity of our public transportation system seems a necessity.

Ridership is growing to record levels. Perhaps increased ridership will offset some of the fare increase?


Beckie said...

I can understand them being short on money, but what I don't understand them raising rates when they don't have bus stops that go everywhere and are not very conveinent to get to. I would have to drive to Metrolink, defeats the purpose.

I have to walk a couple blocks if not a mile to get to the nearest Metrolink and I am not guaranteed that it is going where I need it to.

I come from Chicago and the bus and the train was a maybe 10 minute walk for me and it went everywhere I needed.

St. Louis needs to look at other cities and their public transportation and find out how to do it right!

JimmyZ said...

Metro has a higher-than-average number of bus stops. So, Beckie, not knowing where you live, I can't offer much advice on your options. But what I can observe is that too many St. Louisans will ride only Metrolink and won't ride the Metrobus system. Part of it probably has to do with having to pay more to transfer (the 2-hour pass), which now Metro wants to limit to only one use, as in if you take a bus to the train, then have to take another bus to your destination, guess what, you will now get to pay twice to complete your trip! Metro needs to realize that the public is much more likely to support a cohesive transit SYSTEM, and this a real step backwards. Better to just charge one flat fare to ride from point A to point B, whether it involves no transfers or three!