The King County Council has approved a 50-cent fare hike to be phased in over the next 14 months.  On February 1, 2009 fares will be boosted by 25 cents — which will bring one-zone peak fares up to $2.00 and two-zone peaks to $2.50. Fares will be boosted again in January 2010 by another quarter. The fare increases will generate over $30 million of additional revenue through 2010.

14 Replies to “Metro Fare Hike Approved”

    1. I fell Metro will be shooting themselves in the foot by doing that. The line is only 1.3 miles long and the streetcars were never effected by high gas prices. I really think that I should cost 1 to 1.50$, However metro needs to make it clear that If they lower fares transfering to a bus would cost more.

      1. I think this comment exposes a little bit of one large ugly fact about Seattle buses. Within the city we fill buses up, which are generally electric and require less maintenance and fuel costs. We then ride a relatively short distance, which means the bus can immediately fill back up with a new round of passengers. The result has to be a much higher farebox return per passenger in the city than long, often empty (especially in the non-peak direction) diesel runs to the suburbs. The 2-zone system helps some, but I really can’t imagine in-city trips costing close to as much per passenger than a suburb trip.

        The SLUS is a prime example of this: a maximum of 1.3 miles that costs you $2. Maybe I’ll buy my own bus and charge $1 for this route. If I can get just 30 people per direction, I could be making at least $120 an hour.

      2. Wait… do you mean to say that a bus could provide the exact same service as the SLUS? And we wouldn’t have had to put in tracks or buy fancy new streetcars?

      3. I agree with Matt. I think the second fare increase should only apply to the 2nd zone. I think when community transit raised their fares they tried to keep the same percentage of fare collection per zone. I feel the towns farther out Sammamish/Issaquah like North bend and Carnation should be in a 3rd fare zone.

      4. It’s not like runs in Seattle are profitable. While I agree that the SLU Streetcar fares should probably be lower, I do not think it’s smart to raise fares in the Eastside. The whole system has a massive shortfall. Perhaps they should only raise fares in Seattle where all the real money is?

      5. Or cut service to the east side, where the money loss is.

        Remind me again why Seattle is subsidizing everyone else’s commute?

      6. Every single bus that KC Metro operates loses money.

        Seattle isn’t subsidizing bus service. In fact, the opposite is true: the rest of King County subsidizes our in-city bus service. The majority of revenue for bus operations comes from the 0.9% sales tax.

        I don’t think looking fare-box recovery as a singular source of revenue is very enlightening and is actually quite misleading.

        Don’t get me wrong, I understand your point. When we talk about cutting service then I think you should start with the loss leaders. But we’re not yet talking about service cuts. I think keeping all current service is a fine baseline.

  1. The question on my mind is will the U-pass go up, and by how much?

    (Not that it won’t still be a hell of a deal if they raise it a bit!)

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