Courtesy of Metro Light Rail
Look out! Fares may increase in 2013.
Proposed fare increase for March 1, 2013
Valley Metro is considering a fare change that would increase fare revenue to support operations and create greater equity in the fare structure.
A fare increase is necessary to preserve service. The cost of transit operations continues to rise and fare revenue must keep pace. Regular adjustments will be required into the future in order to keep cost and revenue in the appropriate balance and service on the street.
This fall, Valley Metro will continue to seek public comment on a revised fare increase proposal that is recommended for implementation on March 1, 2013.
The public comment period is open now through November 3, 2012. Open houses and a public hearing will occur between October 22 – November 1.
In fall 2011, Valley Metro initiated a public outreach process for a proposed increase of $.25 to the base fare, taking a single ride fare from $1.75 to $2.00; an Express/RAPID single ride from $2.75 to $3.00.
With every fare increase proposal, a federally-required analysis must be conducted to ensure all riders continue to have equal access and pay equally for transit service.
This fall, Valley Metro will continue the public outreach process with a revised fare increase proposal that would allow Express/RAPID riders to more equitably share in the cost of operations. The new proposal would take an Express/RAPID single ride fare from $2.75 to $3.25, an additional $.25 from the proposal in fall 2011.
Fare increases and service reductions are occurring across the country; a shortfall in revenue is not unique to Valley Metro nor the region. 80% of transit agencies across the country have either increased fares, cut service or both in recent years.
How your fares support operations
Currently your fare pays for about 25% of the cost to operate your trip. As the cost of operations rises, your fare begins to insufficiently support the current service level.
Valley Metro has sought to streamline its costs by reducing under-performing routes and looking internally for savings. With the spring 2012 selection of a single CEO over Valley Metro, efficiencies have been achieved in staffing, employee benefits, use of consultants, operations with the onset of NextRide and restructuring of East Valley Dial-a-Ride and, finally, within the capital program using innovative delivery methods.
The proposed fare increase will generate approximately $6.5 million for the transit system annually, which is equivalent to 988,000 transit service miles or 3.2% of all fixed route service (bus and rail).