Metro Board To Consider Postponement Of Fare Increase

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and LA County Supervisors Zev Yaroslavsky and Mark Ridley-Thomas have drafted a plan to temporarily halt a Metro proposal to raise bus and rail fares by 25 cents 3 times over the next 8 years. The proposal, to be presented at the Metro board meeting Thursday, May 22, would allow one increase this summer but put the other 2 on hold until a panel of transportation experts could assess the feasibility of alternatives such as raising parking fees at stations or annually adjusting fares to reflect changes in the consumer price index.

Metro has said that a fare increase is necessary to close an expected $36 million gap in the agency’s 2016 operating budget, which is expected to grow to $225 million over the next decade. Metro’s fares are among the lowest of any major transit system in the U.S., but critics point out that fare increases will hit the county’s poorest residents hardest — the average income of more than 80% of riders is less than $20,000 a year.

Read more in the LA Times. And listen to comments by LA Times reporter Laura Nelson, Bus Riders Union co-chair Eric Mann, and Kymberleigh Richards, who serves on Metro San Fernando Valley Service Council — all on KCRW’s “Which Way LA?

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