If the 50¢ Metro fare increase John mentioned yesterday does generate $30 million for Metro through 2010, it would fall short of the amount Metro very needs to cover its $70 million budget shortfall. In my last post on the subject, I noted a County Council plan that could save $30 million for Metro by combining redundant departments within Metro with those within the rest of the County. The County Council claimed they needed a proposal that would save $20 million per year, along with another $40 million capital project cuts.

We’ll keep you informed on this subject. Metro’s still short $5 million a year even with the fare hike, capital project cuts, and the possible staffing reductions.

9 Replies to “Metro’s Fare Hike Not Quite Enough”

    1. It didn’t bring in that much. There’s a staff report at the KC site (part of the ongoing debate to reintroduce Bus Wrap with the 15″ clear strip) that says it made $754K in 2006 and $558K in 2007 – not sure if that’s net to Metro or if the Titan Outdoor cut is subtracted from that. They said they made $7K from the one all clear window wrap this year and they project revenue of $450K in 2008, $278K in 2009, and $409K in 2010 leasing 25 buses each year with the 15″ clear strip.

      Personally I hate bus wrap and I don’t think it’s enough money to warrant covering any part of the windows.

      1. I think bus wraps are pretty cool :)

        I can understand why some people are bothered by them, but hey there’s another $500k in service — for example. I’d open up more buses to advertising.

  1. The rumor is that Obama is going to help municipalities with the transit shortfalls as part of his initial stimulus plan.

    In anticipation of this, local governments would likely plan their budgets a little short in order to plead for help from the Feds.

    It’s like negotiating, only backwards.

  2. Gas – down to $2.23 average in Washington state. Bus – UP 50 cents. What a great way to send drivers back to their cars.

    And the Performance Reports Metro put up – obfuscation. If you review the reports, they make comparisons between routes instead of giving hard data. They don’t tell you that route #XXX was late this percentage of times or anything really useful.

    1. Gas prices are down, but for how long? It is true that gas prices have fallen dramatically in the past few months, but prices generally do fall around this time of year. Once spring arrives, prices will likely go up. Maybe they won’t hit $4 next year, but in this economy anything hurts. I don’t think a few months of low gas prices is enough to claim that people will leave public transit and return to sitting in traffic for hours on end.

      If fares aren’t raised, Metro is certain to have to cut service. If that happens people in effected areas won’t have an option. They’ll HAVE to return to their cars. I’d love to keep fares the same, I’d love it even more if they were free, but I’d also like an unlimited supply of service, and an unlimited supply of money for Metro and for myself. You can’t win ’em all. Tough decisions had to/will have to be made before this is over.

      Besides, factoring in the increased price of gas/insurance/everything else over the past few years, the small increase in fares is still a bargain. This year saw Metro’s first fare increase since I think 2001, and now we’ll have a slight increase again. Compare that to anything else you’ve had to pay for since 2001.

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