VIA MYFOXDC:

The cost of riding a Metro bus or Metro train rose on Sunday by ten cents a ride. Seniors and disabled passengers will pay a nickel more.

The fare increases are supposed to be temporary, but not only are they likely to last, fares will likely go even higher this summer.

Metro Access rides, which serve disabled customers, are also going up by ten cents on Sunday

The “temporary” fare increases are designed to help the transit agency cope with a projected 40 million dollar budget deficit for its current fiscal year, which ends in June.

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One customer told us, “Metro’s in bad shape. Metro needs a lot of help… what would we do without Metro?”

He did not mind the fare increase.

But most customers we spoke with expressed unhappiness with the increases. “If the service was better, I’d say OK. But it’s not, it’s not,” said one woman.

The projected deficit for next fiscal year is 189 million dollars, and outgoing General Manager John Catoe is recommending that far bigger fare hikes hikes go into effect on July 1st.

Metro’s board will likely hold public hearings soon to discuss the further fare hikes.

Fare changes effective February 28 through June 26, 2010

Metrorail regular fare changes

• The base boarding charge will increase from $1.65 to $1.75;

• Maximum fare on the rail system will increase from $4.50 to $4.60; and

• Metrorail fares for senior citizens and people with disabilities will increase from 80 to 85 cents.

Metrorail reduced fare changes

• The charge for the first seven miles of travel during off-peak periods will increase from $1.35 to $1.45;

• The charge for travel between seven and 10 miles during off-peak periods will increase from $1.85 to $1.95; and

• The charge for travel over 10 miles during off-peak periods will increase from $2.35 to $2.45.

Metrobus fare changes

• The Metrobus cash boarding charge will increase from $1.35 to $1.45, and the SmarTrip® boarding charge will increase from $1.25 to $1.35;

• The Metrobus express service cash boarding charge will increase from $3.10 to $3.20, and the SmarTrip® boarding charge will increase from $3 to $3.10;

• Metrobus fares for senior citizens and people with disabilities will increase from 60 to 65 cents.

MetroAccess fare changes

• The MetroAccess fare will increase from $2.50 to $2.60.

Changes to Metrorail passes

• The Metrorail One Day Pass will increase from to $7.80 to $8.30;

• The Metrorail Seven-Day Short Trip Pass will increase from $26.40 to $27.90;

• The Metrorail Seven-Day Fast Pass will increase from $39 to $40.50;

• DC Student 10-trip fare cards will increase from $8 to $8.50; and

• The Metrorail Transit Link Card (MARC and VRE) will increase from $80 to $84.

Changes to Metrobus passes

• The Metrobus Weekly Flash Pass will increase from $11 to $12;

• Adult tokens (10-pack) will increase from $13.50 to $14.50;

• DC student tokens (10-pack) will increase from $6.25 to $6.75;

• The weekly Senior Flash Pass will increase from $6 to $6.60; and

• The weekly Disabled Flash Pass will increase from $6 to $6.60.

Source

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