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Metro Might Raise Its Low Fares But Make Transfers Free

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With $1.50 bus and rail fares, we can't say we didn't see this coming: Metro is considering raising fares. To stave off a $36-million operating gap in 2016's budget, the transit agency is considering raising fares by a quarter, to $1.75, in September, bumping it to $2 in 2018, and to $2.25 in 2021; day passes would jump from $5 to $9 and weekly passes from $20 to $32. Another option is to keep the $1.50 fare but charge rush hour commuters $2.25, then $3.25 in 2021, with day passes hitting $13 in 2021, and weekly passes costing $45 (one thing to remember: by 2021, there will be rail service to Bunker Hill, Santa Monica, Azusa, Leimert Park, Inglewood and, hopefully, LAX and the Arts District). The rate increases would also correspond with a new transfer policy, allowing passengers to ride as many buses or trains as they liked for 90 minutes (riders now have to pay to transfer every time). LA's Metro currently has one of the lowest fares of all major cities—even having raised fares for most riders in 2010—but most also have more logical transfer policies. The anti-rail agitators at the Bus Riders Union unsurprisingly jumped on the announcement, saying the cost increases are hurting poorer people the most, especially those who have no other transportation. The agency will consider the fare increases at a May board meeting.
· Metro Seeks to Raise Fares and Allow Free Transfers on Bus, Rail [LA Times]