Metro’s new fares begin today:
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 $3.00. The cost of the $7.50 Day Pass will not change nor will the current $4.00 Metro Call-A-Ride fare. (Metro)
The 2-hour pass is the same as a transfer, used on MetroBus or MetroLink light rail. This $3 pass/transfer allows riders who want to ride any combination of bus or rail, in any direction, within a 2-hour window, to do so for little more than the base fare. Those who don’t need more than a single ride in two hours can pay the one ride fare ($2 bus, $2.50 light rail). I can imagine some weekly/monthly pass holders going to one ride or 2-hour passes, they’ll need to do the math to determine the most cost effective way for them to use Metro. I don’t use the system enough to justify a monthly pass.
One system similar in size to Metro is Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA). Their fares start at $2.25 for “Bus/Rapid/BRT” and are $2.50 for their “Park-N-Ride Bus.” For transfers I looked at their FAQ:
Transfer Privileges are included in all RTA fare media: the All-Day Pass, 7-Day Flex Pass or Monthly Pass, and 5-trip farecards. RTA riders paying cash no longer receive transfers and should consider purchasing farecards or passes.
Interesting, if you buy 5 tickets in advance they each cost the same as one but include a transfer. I looked at 6-8 other systems and each has a unique way of handling the question of transfers. Some make everyone pay for a transfer but market it as being “free.” I like the option of just paying the base fare for most trips, upgrading to a 2-hour pass/transfer when I need to.
– Steve Patterson