Afternoon Poll: Metro Fare Hike

Bethesda Metro Station

Rate hikes could be on the way for Metro users.

WMATA on Tuesday night held a public hearing in Rockville on a set of proposed Metro rate hikes for later this year.

Under the current proposal, the base Metrorail peak fare would increase from $2.10 to $2.20 and the base off-peak fare would increase from $1.70 to $1.75. The maximum fare, with distance charges added in, would increase from $5.75 to $6.00 for peak and from $3.50 to $3.65 for off-peak. Standard Metrobus fares could increase as much as a quarter.

The WMATA Board could decide to pursue smaller increases.

Fifty-two percent of the system’s proposed $1.76 billion operating budget for fiscal year 2015 is funded with passenger fares and parking, 45 percent is funded with state and local government contributions and 3 percent comes from other revenue sources.

The budget proposal includes a $44 million increase in funding from local governments and assumes a roughly $30 million bump in fare revenue from the fare hikes, not including any additional fare revenues generated by ridership growth from the soon-to-open Silver Line to Dulles Airport.

Bethesda has had a recent history of Metro maintenance issues and the portion of the Red Line that runs through the area could face substantial renovations because of leaking water. Metro is expected to start a disruptive escalator replacement project at the Bethesda Metro station this year and has also said the station will be one of its “Station of the Future” pilot projects.

What do you think of the proposed rate hike? Is it necessary for a transit system attempting to improve or an unfair burden for customers who too frequently face service issues?

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