Metro fares to increase this summer

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – MetroLink fares are going up in July; the only question is by how much.  Metro will hold several meetings at the end of this month to get feedback from the public.

Metro Spokesperson Patti Beck says these fare increases are necessary. She explains, “In order to sustain the current level of service that we have, we need to stay in tune with inflation and rising costs of fuel, vehicle parts, and medical benefits.”

And these hikes are here to stay, part of a long range plan to increase fares every two years, equal to a five percent increase in revenue.

“We think that it is easier if we do small adjustments along the way. Two years ago we had a small adjustment, and we’re proposing a small adjustment this time,” says Beck.

So it’s not whether they’ll raise prices, it’s how. Right now, Metro officials have proposed three different options, which would raise fares for single rides, weekly and monthly passes, and university semester passes.

Beck says Metro is holding three public meetings and a hearing to learn which plan has the most community support: “Then we will decide if one of these plans is the best to present to our Board of Commissioners, or if it actually will be a modification or compilation of all three.”

The board will vote on the proposal in May, and the rate increases will go into effect on July 1st.

It’s something many passengers are dreading.  “The price increase is gonna suck really bad. I mean it’s going to make it to where people can’t get around anymore,” says Donny Mahan, who depends on MetroLink to get to and from work every day.

“I ain’t got no money to afford it,” adds a mother of two.

But not all passengers are upset.  Tracy Johnson says, “Personally for me, I don’t have a problem with it, I understand they have a job to do.”

The first public meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 25th at St. Louis City Hall.  Additional meeting dates and information are here: http://www.metrostlouis.org/FaresPasses/FareIncrease2014.aspx

Transit fare change online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MetroTransitFareSurvey

You can also email your opinions on the plans to fareincrease2014@metrostlouis.org, or give your opinions by phone, by calling (314) 982-1422.

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