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Metro Board Approves Fare Hikes

Changes effective July 1

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Fares for those using SmarTrip cards are going up less than paper card users, but wil still cost an average 5 percent more.
Andrew Bossi: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thisisbossi/4785832026/
Fares for those using SmarTrip cards are going up less than paper card users, but wil still cost an average 5 percent more.

It'll soon cost you more to ride Metro. The transit agency's board of directors voted today for the first increase in bus and rail fares in the system in two years.

Josephine Johnson, who spoke at the meeting, begged the board to have compassion and reconsider: "We have fixed incomes, we have high rents to pay, we are elderly, handicapped, disabled, on dialysis."

In the end, board members voted for the hike, which will raise the average rail fare by about 5 percent. Bus fares are increasing by a dime, rising to $1.60 for those who use SmarTrip cards. The largest increase will be for those who use paper fare cards on the rail system. Take a buck extra for each one-way trip, add a possible new 5-cent station improvement surcharge on each end, and some riders could pay almost $19 for a round trip.

The rates take effect July 1.

Metro officials hope to use revenue from the fee increases to help close a budget gap of about $100 million for the next fiscal year.

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