Comment now on proposal to raise metro-area transit fares

Posted In: Council News, Transportation
Date: 4/13/2017

The Metropolitan Council is seeking public input on a proposal to raise transit fares in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

This would be the first fare increase in nearly a decade (last increase was in October 2008) and a necessary step to address the increasing costs to providing transit and transportation. When fares remain flat, the Council recovers a smaller percentage of the overall cost to provide transit service.


Comment at one of 12 public events throughout the region,    via email, phone, or an online survey.

Transit officials are inviting feedback and testimony on two basic scenarios for regular route transit – increases of 25 cents or 50 cents.

Possible fare increases would affect all regional transit services, including those operated by Metro Transit, Metro Mobility, the Metropolitan Council (including Transit Link and suburban service), and suburban transit providers (Maple Grove Transit, Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, Plymouth MetroLink, and SouthWest Transit). Transit fares, under state law and regional policy, must be set on a regional basis and be consistent across providers.

In addition to rising costs, funds that support public transit have not been keeping pace with expectations, leading to a projected deficit in the regional transit budget. The proposed fare increases are estimated to fill approximately 20% of the projected $74 million deficit. Last month the Minnesota House of Representatives passed a bill that would further increase that deficit to $140 million. If signed into law, it would force more significant fare increases, in addition to reduced service and elimination for many bus routes.

“It’s a critical time for us to hear from customers and constituencies in the region as we weigh this decision,” said Metropolitan Council Chair Adam Duininck. “Attend a public meeting, fill out our survey, and let us know how a fare increase would affect you. Every experience is important for us as we balance a fare increase with impacts on our most transit-dependent and vulnerable customers.”

In addition to the public meetings and public hearings where people can comment, information will be available on buses and trains, and other physical locations. Staff will be available at busy transit stops and hubs throughout May and June, to assure riders have an opportunity to learn more, ask questions, and provide input.

Duininck also encouraged people to contact the Council with any questions they have or to suggest another setting for a discussion about fares during the public comment period.

Learn more about how to comment at public meetings.

Proposals to increase public transit fares must be available for public comment and public hearing, under federal law. They must reflect the upper limit of an anticipated fare increase, meaning fares can be raised no higher than what is proposed for consideration. Cash fare proposals that will be under consideration are below. The Council is receiving public comment through late June and will make a final decision in July for implementation this fall.

Regular Route Transit Proposals

 
  Off Peak Local Bus and METRO Peak Local Bus and METRO Off Peak Express Bus Peak Express Bus
Current $1.75 $2.25 $2.25 $3.00
Scenario 1
(25 cent increase)
$2.00 $2.50 $2.50 $3.25
Scenario 2
(50 cent increase)
$2.25 $2.75 $2.75 $3.50
 
In both regular route scenarios, Northstar fares are express fares, and either 25 cents or 50 cents would be added to the fares for each stop.
 

Metro Mobility and Transit Link fare proposals

 
  Metro Mobility
Off-Peak
Metro Mobility Peak Metro Mobility Non-ADA
Off-Peak
Metro Mobility Non-ADA Peak Transit Link Off-Peak* Transit Link Peak*
Current $3.00 $4.00 $3.00  
$4.00
$2.25
$4.50
$6.75
$2.25
$4.50
$6.75
Scenario 1 $3.50 $4.50 $3.50 $4.50 $3.50 $4.50
Scenario 2 $3.75 $4.75 $3.75 $4.75 $3.75 $4.75
Surcharge for rides longer than 15 miles     Add
$1.25
Add
$1.25
Add
$1.25
Add
$1.25

*Transit Link rides have a distance-based fare and do not distinguish between peak and off-peak. The proposal will change the distance surcharge, and align fares more closely with Metro Mobility fares. The services are similar and have a similar cost. In addition, proposals include adding a distance surcharge for non-ADA (or non-mandated) rides on Metro Mobility.

In addition, cash fare proposals would affect how passes are priced. There are also a number of policy-related provisions under consideration by the Council, including only accepting cash and Go-To cards for payment on Metro Mobility and Transit Link rides.


More information


Learn more about the full fare adjustment proposal.





 

Posted In: Council News, Transportation

Tags: Transit, Metro Mobility, fare increase

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