By David Schultz
It's soon going to cost more to take Metro after the transit agency's Board of Directors passed a historically large fare increase. Starting late next month, taking a Metrobus will cost $1.50 for those using smart trip cards, and a $1.70 with cash.
Fares on Metro trains are a little more complicated. They'll be increasing by $0.25 during evenings, weekends and mid-days, $0.30 cents during rush hour, and $0.50 cents during the peak of rush hour from 7:30 to 9 in the morning and from 4:30 to 6 in the evening.
The good news is, there won't be any reductions in service. Jim Graham, a Board member who represents D.C., says balancing Metro's budget that way would have sparked outrage.
"People would find intolerable the idea that there would be a fare increase and also less service provided," says Graham.
Instead, Board Members opted to move $30 million from Metro's capital budget into its operating budget. That didn't sit well with Cathy Hudgins, a Board Member from Fairfax County, Virginia. She says this is like robbing Peter to pay Paul.
"With this budget, we will be creating a larger possibility of a deficit in a 2012 budget," says Hudgins.
In the end, the Board approved the fare hikes unanimously. They'll take effect Sunday, June 27th.