Metro Transit may hike fares 25 cents

Thumbnail image for light rail stalled2.jpg
Higher fares in 2012.
Metro Transit had a petty good year in 2010.

With the exception of the new North Star commuter rail line, ridership was up across the board and is now at a 25-year high. And major work on the Central Corridor light rail project starts this spring.

Next year might not be so good.

The state is broke, the transit appropriation may get slashed 9 percent, and a 25-cent across-the-board fare hike is now in the works.

Metro Transit is run by the Met Council, and is funded mostly through a motor vehicle sales tax, and also through a General Fund base appropriation--currently $119.592 million for bus and $10.348 million for the Hiawatha Line light rail over the biennium.

Gov. Mark Dayton's budget calls for a $5.4 million cutback in the annual base appropriation, which the Met Council says Metro Transit can't sustain without reductions in service. [DOCUMENT HERE.]

The fare hike--the first since 2008--could generate about $9.3 million over the biennium and close the shortfall. But it may come at a cost: When fares go up, ridership goes down. And the Strib reports that Metro Transit's fares are among the highest in the nation.

How would the fare hike affect you? Take the poll or leave a comment.


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7 comments
Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

Metro Transit only spends 8-9% of It's annual budget on fuel and over the weekend a spokes person for M.T. said; "fuel cost increases don't effect our budget much".Metro Transit spends the majority of it's budget on wages and benefits for it's union employees. This hike is long over due and reflective of the increases in wages and benefits and spending on new buses. Oh, your going to love this; also all that advertising. Cuz, your to stupid to know you can ride the bus. By the way, your bus fares only account for 40% of the operating costs of said buses due to taxpayer subsidizes of Metro transit.

Now, don't be like those "evil-greedy" people in Wisconsin opposing the unions out of control rising benefit costs. Just accept the liberal mantra concerning government unions; "bend over and grab the ankles". They're coming for your wallet. Union greed people! Don't be a flip flop on the issues people. I know you oppose Gov. Walker. Accept you union induced faith!

KB
KB

I wouldn't mind paying two dollars for non rush hour bus fare. Seems like I always pay two dollars anyway because I can never find that pesky 75 cents.

Ryan
Ryan

There's no alternative for people without cars who need public transportation. We can't help but get screwed by these hikes.

You can't blame the Metro Council for lack of trying. Call your representatives and tell them you don't want your fare to go up and they should try to find other ways to balance the budget.

singe_101
singe_101

If the bill passes and collective bargaining rights are stripped, government can just rule by fiat over thousands of Wisconsin workers. That's big government. It's not a wages and benefits grab.

I'll pay for the best bus drivers and maintenance possible, they drive in these blizzards.

TO
TO

I love you Kirk! Talk about "paying our fair share". Maybe 100% should be covered by the rider, oh wait then it wouldn't work!

Ryan
Ryan

True, it's easier to have it in increments of $.50 because it's easier. Nobody wants to carry nickels and pennies for bus fare.

I'll accept the hit on paying more for buses, seeing as how the price of gas continually goes up. I won't like it, but I'll accept it.

sigh
sigh

I spend more on my monthly go card than I would on gas if I owned a car.

I would have insurance and maintenance to pay for, not to mention the car itself, but dammit, I'd also have a car.

I've not owned a car in the last decade of living in Minneapolis, and I have a list as long as I am tall for why I need to buy a car....this will just go on that list.

When I first moved here non rush hour fares were $1.00.

The other main reason why taking the bus sucks is so many of the routes only run once an hour, even during rush hour. Sure, the 12, 17, 6, 21 run frequently, but try dealing with the scenario of having to explain why you would really much rather leave work at 5:00 than 5:30 without sounding like a jerk. I leave at 5:00, and I'm home at 6:00.

I leave at 5:30, and I'm home at 7:00, and that's with walking an extra half a mile.

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