Only fare increases have to go to the public for comment, and a monthly pass could be considered a fare reduction. That means it’s still possible for the board to work out the details of a pass option during meetings between now and June, when they must approve the budget.
The docket also eliminates the last discount available for riders that only take 10 trips per week, a normal commute for some people. Metro proposes raising the price of the rail fast pass to exactly 10 times the maximum rail fare.
Previously, Metro offered a few discounts for frequent riders: a 10% bonus fare for people who bought farecards of $20 or more, a weekly bus pass that cost about 8.5 trips, and the rail fast pass.
The 10% bonus fare was eliminated in 2003. The weekly bus pass discount was eliminated in 2010. Metro now charges 10 times the Smartrip fare for a pass.
For a regular commuter taking 10 trips per week which are long enough to hit the maximum fare, the rail fast pass currently offers about a 10% discount compared to 10 individual trips, as well as free trips after that. This proposal will eliminate the 10% discount and almost certainly drive customers away from using the rail fast pass.
More to follow after the Thursday board meeting.