Metro transit fare increase effective July 1

The Bi-State Development Agency Board of Commissioners recently voted to approve a Metro transit fare increase that will go into effect on July 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year.

Metro invited the public to provide feedback online, by phone, by email, by mail, or by attending one of three meetings in March and a public hearing in April to learn more about three fare-increase options under consideration, according to a news release.

The option most favored by the public was Option 2, which will raise the prices of the MetroLink one-ride fare, as well as the weekly, monthly and university semester passes. The cost of the one-ride MetroLink fare will increase from $2.25 to $2.50. Weekly passes will increase from $25 to $27; monthly passes from $72 to $78; and the semester pass will go from $150 to $175.

The fare increase will not impact the $2 base MetroBus fare and the 2-Hour Pass/Transfer will remain at $3. The cost of the $7.50 Day Pass will not change nor will the current $4 Metro Call-A-Ride fare.

Passenger revenue is a critical source of funding for the Metro transit system and supports 22 percent of the cost to provide transit service, the release stated. The remaining 78 percent is paid by the taxpayer. Higher costs for fuel, vehicle parts and medical benefit expenses continue to add to the cost of operating the Metro Transit system.

“The fare increase will generate approximately $2.25 million in passenger revenue for fiscal year 2015, which is money essential to sustain current transit operations,” John Nations, Bi-State Development Agency president and CEO, stated in the release.

Periodic fare increases were included as a key component of the region’s long-range transit plan, Moving Transit Forward, according to the release. That plan calls for raising fares by a small percentage approximately every two years to address the transit system’s growing capital and operating needs.