By Edgar Linares, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Commuters say giving an extra quarter to take the bus or train is something they’re reluctant to pay, but they’re willing to do it.

“Nobody wants anything to go higher,” said Deborah Hyatt, who takes public transportation to get to work. “I would love it if it stayed the same. It turns out to be a lot of money in the end. I pay for a bus card and it’s my main source of transportation, so I’d have to pay for it.”

Andrew Pole walked off a metro bus Wednesday morning and said the price increase wouldn’t affect him that much.

“From my perspective, I’m absolutely fine with it,” said Pole, a Minneapolis bus commuter. “I do honestly worry about people who are less fortunate and that maybe affected by those hikes in prices who depend on the bus to get to work.”

On Wednesday, the House Transportation Policy and Finance Committee will meet with the Metropolitan Council on increasing the fare by $0.25. They’ll meet in St. Paul at 12:30 p.m.

Minneapolis and St. Paul are among the highest fares in the nation according to a national report released in 2009 by Transportation for America. The average rate is $1.75 to $3.00.

Gov. Mark Dayton said in his budget proposal the increase maybe needed to avoid serious cuts in service.

Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb told the Minneapolis Star Tribune the fare increase could generate $6 million a year. If the change is approved it would take place later this year or by 2012.

Comments (13)
  1. Tom says:

    make it .50 cents go for it what the heck I don’t ride them anyway

    1. Joker of Spades says:

      Didn’t your mother ever tell you that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all? I rely on the bus to get to and from work every day. Just because you don’t care about the parking costs downtown or the envirnment, doesn’t mean this isn’t big news to some. If you don’t care, why bother reading it?

    2. Please grow up says:

      Mommy left you alone with the computer again, tommy? Go back to your sponge bob cartoons and count chocula cereal.

  2. rmsmkm says:

    I ride the bus to work every day, it is much cheaper than paying for parking. I really understand why they need to make the increase. What I get angry about are t the people that get on the bus and think they don’t have to pay. Really irritating and there should be more of a consiquance for that.

  3. What a great idea to punish Metro Transit for having one of the best farebox recovery rates in the nation. Here’s the plan, let’s put almost no capital improvement money into our transit system for decades until it services only a tiny fraction of the metro area and then use it for a budget scapegoat because fat people in cars don’t want to pay taxes.

    1. JB says:

      Being a fat person in a car I take unbridge to your comments. Your bus fare is already subsidized by my pocketbook. My gas tax, property tax, and even registrations help pay for your bus ride. As a matter of fact, you ahve one of the highest rates in the nation for fares. So, instead of striking out at a fat suburbanite, why not explore why this system is so expensive to start out with? could it be the union, or the routes are innefficient, or maybe just to much overhead? When wil the bus cruise the suburbs on my schedule and take me to and from work? Since I am payign for it, jsut like your taxes are paying for the roads, shouldn’t I have the same options to commute to work like you? then I could be a fat guy on the bus, next to you….

      1. Joey says:

        Agreed… I took the bus for about four years just to get to downtown which worked for my schedule. Not so much everyone’s schedule. To get from Champlin to Fridley would have taken close to 3 hours. MN ranks 12th for the amount of commuters in U.S. but voted amongs best for quality. The drivers contracts are in negotiations and once again unable to meet what they demand because the unions push for this. I love the buses and trains. The employees are getting paid well with benefits and to maintain being close to #1 doesn’t mean they need more money. If I don’t like what is being paid to me…I have to look for another job without holding customers “hostage” and say you know what.. you can’t get to work unless we take even more money

  4. Shane G says:

    If a quarter would generate an extra $6 million a year than what happened to all the money from the last increase just a few years ago? Bus fares used to be $1.50 off peak and $2.00 peak. They increased it around 2008. So now $18 million generated in those last few years have just disappeared? Maybe they need to get rid of that “Free Ride” down Nicollet deal. Look at all the money they are losing because of it. That was the worst idea ever. Usually people walk down that small stretch anyways so that they can go shopping and view all the eventful things that are going on in that area. In the process they got rid of half of the bus stops. It used to be so convenient to walk to the nearest bus stop to catch the bus. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched the bus go right past me because I had to walk to “every other block” in order to catch a bus. Then I have to wait another 20 minutes. If it was like it used to be, I could catch the nearest bus stop and I’d be home already. If they want a “Free Ride” down Nicollet then they should just dedicate only one bus for that purpose that goes up and down. And they should bring back the bus stops. It doesn’t make things faster when you can’t catch the bus you need and have to wait another 20 minutes.

    1. Anthony says:

      Why don’t you just plan accordingly so you can make the bus? I can’t tell you how irritating it is that the buses stop so often! I think cutting down on the number of stops was a great idea. A bus stop every block increases the commute time and makes my commute home from downtown all the more irritating. People really are just lazy when they have to complain about walking an extra block.

  5. Paula says:

    No one will be using Metro Transit, if they don’t settle their contract!

  6. Shane G says:

    Also I might add, they need to make 18 buses accordion buses. There is never any room and people are standing and squished together like sardines. A bus extension would make a big difference.

  7. Jeff says:

    Of course you, the media, doesn’t post my comment. Let others see my comments. You want a story? Tell it how it is for people who can’t afford really nothing, and how serious this impacts us. Since this is public transporation, where can we go to stand up for ourselves? You the media brought this to our attention, and now your blocking me? These are the lives of people who rely on public transportation. We should be heard! Whether it’s negative or good. This is a huge deal again. This happend back in 2004. This poses all kinds of questions and we want answers.

  8. rmsmkm says:

    Jeff, you could get a car and drive if you think that would be cheaper. Have you seen the price of gas lately? Prices go up, cost has to be passed on. I appreciate the fact that I can take the bus, I have lived in towns that do not have bus service and I would be stranded. I understand the need to increase the fare, Here is an example, it would cost me 25 dollars to take a cab to work and it cost me 1.75 to take the bus. I will not be complaining.

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