Metro Transit may hike fares 25 cents

Metro Transit had a petty good year in 2010.

With the exception of the new North Star commuter rail line, ridership was up across the board and is now at a 25-year high. And major work on the Central Corridor light rail project starts this spring.

Next year might not be so good.

The state is broke, the transit appropriation may get slashed 9 percent, and a 25-cent across-the-board fare hike is now in the works.

Metro Transit is run by the Met Council, and is funded mostly through a motor vehicle sales tax, and also through a General Fund base appropriation--currently $119.592 million for bus and $10.348 million for the Hiawatha Line light rail over the biennium.

Gov. Mark Dayton's budget calls for a $5.4 million cutback in the annual base appropriation, which the Met Council says Metro Transit can't sustain without reductions in service. [DOCUMENT HERE.]

The fare hike--the first since 2008--could generate about $9.3 million over the biennium and close the shortfall. But it may come at a cost: When fares go up, ridership goes down. And the Strib reports that Metro Transit's fares are among the highest in the nation.

How would the fare hike affect you? Take the poll or leave a comment.


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