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Metro Board Approves Historic Fare Increase

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All Metro fares will increase 18 percent beginning Sunday.
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All Metro fares will increase 18 percent beginning Sunday.

By Patrick Madden

Metro's Board of Directors has approved the largest fare increase in the transit system's 43-year history.

The new fare hikes kick in almost immediately. Beginning Sunday, all metrorail fares, peak and off-peak, will increase 18 percent. So, for example, base fares will increase 30 cents from $1.65 to $1.95. Bus trips will rise to a $1.50 and if you are paying cash, and not using a SmarTrip card, that ride will cost a $1.70.

Metro is encouraging riders to use SmarTrip cards. Beginning in August, there will be a 25 cent surchage on all non-SmarTrip metrorail fares. Also in August, there will be a "peak of the peak" 20 cent surcharge during the height of rush hour, in the morning from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and in the afternoon from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

MetroAccess, the service for elderly and disabled riders, will also cost more as will annual bike locker fees. The moves are designed to help Metro close its nearly $200 million budget shortfall.

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