If the high prices of gas or the threats of global warming drive you to take the bus, you may find yourself paying more than you remember to “go green.” The Metro Transit Council officially instated a fare increase of 25 cents per ride that went into effect on October 1. This brings the regular local adult fare up to $1.75, rush-hour fares to $2.25 and express fares to three dollars.
College students taking advantage of discount rate bus passes will also see a fare increase. U-pass holders at the University of Minnesota saw a twenty-dollar price increase for fall bus passes bringing the grand total up to eighty-four dollars for one semester.
There are several factors that caused this increase. The first one being the rise in fuel costs. “The rising cost of fuel affects transit in a couple of ways,” said Metro Transit Council Chair Peter Bell in an interview with Minnesota Daily in late June of this year. “It increases the cost of doing business. And it increases ridership, which is good for transit, but also increases our operating costs. We need to be able to respond in the shorter term as well as have the flexibility to adjust fares again next year in the event our costs continue to escalate.”
Another reason for the increase is a $15 million dollar Metro Transit budget deficit Associated Press reports. The Council hopes the increase will help offset the deficit caused by rising health care and labor costs.
The Associated Press also reports that there may be an additional 50 cent increase in fares early next year. Augsburg students can still take advantage of college-student discount passes and stored-value passes available in the Enrollment Center.