Bus, Train Riders React To Possible Fare Hikes

By Susie Jones, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — State Republican leaders want to cut transit funding by $109 million, a move that some said could be devastating to riders.

Lawmakers are running out of time to solve the state’s $5 billion budget deficit, and want to cut transit funding to help in that effort.

The cuts would be made over the next two years, and would cut funding for planning high speed passenger rail.

GOP leaders said the Met Council, which operates bus and train service, should focus on operating the current system and not expanding it.

Met Council Chair Susan Haigh called the cuts devastating, and said they could result in a 25 cent fare increase and substantial service cuts.

Bus riders, like Teresa Holl, said it’s not fair.

“It’s really unfortunate with them taking it out on those who ride the bus, because there are probably others that can afford to sacrifice,” She said.

The bill also suggests the Met Council use the money they pay for public relations and lobbying.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Susie Jones Reports

More from Susie Jones
  • Al

    Why are users of public transportation crybabies when it comes to facing logical increases in their transportation costs. They always feel like everyone should sacrifice their $$ for them all the time.

    • Peter

      Bus riders cost you less than the roads (which are publicly funded) you drive on cost them. Let’s raise your gas tax 10% so the bus riders do not have to pay as much for your roads and see how happy you are about paying it.

  • M B

    Of course… The Republican congresspeople can all afford their own cars. Why should they care?

    Way to prove you care so little about the rank-and-file of MN folks.

    Some people can’t afford gas as it is, and now they’re going to cut those people’s ability to get to work or to save on gas? Some people CAN afford gas, but choose to use mass transit just to be responsible. But, if the bus costs them more than their car would, there’s no point in using them, now is there? Way to cripple our economy just a little more with short sighted cuts.

    You can only cut and slash so much while giving tax breaks before the system collapses. I sometimes wonder if that’s what they are working towards.

    • tired of greedy politicians

      The repbulicans in power are looking to destroy the state economy once and for all. They are 1 issue people and they will go to the grave than go back on the 1 issue they won thei election on. Shame on these poticians. they bring shame to the guys that preceded them. Men like Walter Mondale, Hubert Humphrey, Dave Durenburger. Men who were not afraid to compromise for the sake of solving the problems and resolving the budget crisis. In a way I hope these jerks make such a mess out of this process that everyone will remember them at election time and vote these clowns out of office. they are just a bunch of dorks that couldn’t find a real job if they tried.

    • Paul

      The Democrat congress people can afford their gas also right? Did you read the article? the highlight is the usual thing maybe if they spent the money that we ALL give them a little more wisely then they wouldn’t have to impose a 25 cent fare increase. Of course all we really need to do is just throw more and more money at the system only to have the same things happen over and over again. I don’t know about you but if I don’t have enough money to make ends meet then I have to sacrifice some things,why can’t we expect the same thing from OUR Government????

      • Dale Gribble

        the gov. is happy to cut YOUR things to keep the good stuff for themselves!!.

        It is UNAMERICAN to ask the gov to shave their own salaries and bennies…….that is what the people are are for, ya know?

  • hmm

    Fine with me. I will say this though. When the cost of riding the bus outweighs the cost and convenience of taking my own vehicle I will once again start taking my car to work. So, eventually the fare increases could backfire as it takes many .25 increases to make up for people like me who put up with the inconvenience of mass transit due to the savings. Without significant savings I would never take the smelly, crowded trains and buses to work.

  • pat

    Last transit strike shop lifting went down 60 percent, is it shoplifters who will be devestated?

    • B

      Pat, you can’t pull statistics out of your a$$ and pass them off as fact. You made a completely basesless claim from your total ignorance of mass transit and the people who ride it.

      I am an executive in Minnetonka that lives downtown and I choose to ride the bus because it’s cleaner, cheaper and more convenient than my car. I can remote desktop to my computer at work from the bus; something that can’t be done safely from your car. My commute = work time = less time physically at work.

      • Patriot

        Another white wine sipping eliltist telling us how to spend our money. A real American Patriot would drive a car. Mass transist is a part of the collectivist agenda to enslave Freedom loving Americans and deprive them of their Liberty. By supporting this socialist scheme you destroy our great Nation. Shame on you!

        • WHAT........

          You are joking, right?????? It is hard to believe that you could be serious, what a wacked out idea.

          • Orville

            Patriot is both serious and wacked out. It is not uncommon to find that here on the wcco message board. Also a little unnerving that there are so many like that out there. Plenty of mean people, too. Disagree and they call you names.

      • pat

        wow what a potty mouth. if you look up what I said you will see it was a statistacal fact. I am sure you never stole anything in your llfe, enjoy the subsidized ride, and if you are from Minnetonka you must be rich and can affford to pay more for the bus.

        • Grover

          @ pat. no, just mistrust in statistics. I don’t remember the last bus strike because it is not important to me. Statistics can lie a little bit as if the strike was during a time when shoplifting normally goes down, then the statistic is skewed. I do not doubt that shoplifting goes down. The statistic you remember could be from only MOA,

  • Swamp Rat

    The Legislature has gone mad again with cutting mass transit expenditures and subsidies. How can you build a healthy economy when people are being strapped for cash and hurt by rising mass transport costs and other inane cost-cutting legislation? How are they supposed to commute to work or live?

    Here’s a suggestion to the GOP ignoramuses in St.Paul: Take a pay cut, take mass transit, or walk to walk to your day job, if you have one. Also, for the more well off GOP technocrats reform the tax system so you pay your rightful fair share of taxes!

    Stop picking on hard working Minnesotans. Where are the jobs?

    If you think this citizen is angry just wait until the next election when I vote! Let’s hope you take mass transit then when you don’t have your cushy job in St.Paul. Driving your car with $5+ per gallon gas on a unprepared, disheveled, and unkempt infrastructure should be interesting. Just wait until the elections when angry MN folks vote.

    What have you done done to improve the MN quality for all Minnesotans? So far NOTHING!!!??? Way to go!!!

    • tired of greedy politicians

      I am angry and I will remember what you Republicans did at Election time. We will clean house and get every one of you clowns out of office.

      • Mike Merker

        remember to compliment your bus driver when he drops you off at the polls!

  • Paula

    Pat, there won’t be a strike this year. The drivers just settled there contract. No raises and about $50.00 more a month for health insurance in case you are wondering.

    • pat

      Yes Paula I was aware, but for someone who pays privately for insurance with a $5,000 deductable, $50.00 seems like a deal to me.
      It was good to see the transit workers realize that in todays depression world for the to get a raise while the people they drive probably can’t afford a car the raise would see obscene.

  • JacgueatYA

    More Republican consolidation of their base by cutting services to people who aren’t them, and marginalizing another unionized workforce, so they can shift the money to highway contractors who make better campaign contributions.

  • Enough of Republicans

    5 Billion on the hole because of Pawlenty. Yeah, like I would ever vote for that POS for President!

    • Enough of Democrats

      And trillions because of Obama, spend spend spend and give me give me give me. Soon we should all just sit at home and expect the government to pay for all our needs. When the heck did this country become such a land of entiltlement? What ever happened to working for a living instead of expecting everything handed to you and cry and scream when something seems unfair. As far as the fares go I can pretty much assure you that the increase is to help make up for the people that get on the bus and think it is there right not to pay. Again,entitlement.

  • TomE

    Yep, just what we need. More cars on the road guzzeling more gas, spewing out more poisons, competing for less gas at higher prices while driving on pothple highways.

  • sporty007

    Does it really matter where they cut – we’ve become such a state of entitlements that we are whining about a .25 cent increase in our fee to ride a bus/train – gas prices went up more than that in the last month. Maybe instead of extending the line right now, maybe just maybe they should figure out how to run the current system (within it’s means and without government handouts)

  • just sayin

    Hmmm everyone is screaming at the Republicans who are trying to balance a budget left to them by the Democrats – I am mad at both parties that they can’t find a way to trim the fat from the budget and this whole scenario of tax everyone else but me has got to stop – we need a flat tax across the board – 10% of your earned income goes to taxes – whether your on welfare or the ceo of a corporation – nobody gets a free ride anymore.

    • No free ride

      I agree. Those on entitlements should be taxed as well.

      • Regular Rider

        How about you try to live on $600/month like some people I know who receive those “entitlements” you are talking about, like SSI for people who are unable to work anymore. Then you can talk about taxing those who get “entitlements”. Also, there are a lot of people who have to rely on mass transit to do everything, including grocery shopping, etc, so it would be nice to have a system that could actually get you to the places you need to go, in the first place, and not take forever to do it, in the second place. There is one place I go that I can’t even get to on a Sunday or Holiday, because the bus that runs once an hour during the week doesn’t even run on those days. Whenever I go there for even as little as an hour, I can count on it taking me at 3-4 hours for the round trip. Grocery shopping is at least a 2-3 hour trip. If I could afford to drive a car, I could get it done in 45 minutes.

  • transit rider

    Im a young mother (19 yrs) and college student that relies on transit to get to work and school, if the cost goes up anymore, i wonder if i will be able to keep taking it, it is really hard to keep paying when a transfer only last 2 1/2 hrs and i take at least 4 buses a day to commute to work and school. So if you are wealthy enough to afford a car plus gas, your lucky but for a person like me i would have to probly choose between work or school. I want to continue my education (college) but i work (pay out of pocket) to be able to attatend school. I just hope it does not go up anymore!

  • Anne Larsen

    I relie on Metro Mobility to work so how are people like me who has a disablity supposed get around when we can’t afford to buy a car so that means more people out of work because people relay on mass tranist, trains and metro mobility. I but not one of you in office has ever taken mass tranist in your life

  • PricesGoUp

    Im 36 I have never been on a city bus, I live 2 blocks from northstar in C. Rapids and have 20game package to twins, I have also never rode the train, I drive my car because i prefer to live by my schedule not some1 elses. Everyyear it costs more to drive a car, so its hard for me to understand how people that use transit don’t expect it to cost more everyyear, this is not a right the state owes you, its not welfare.

  • john0990

    How about instead of cutting $109 million from a truly necessary service for many people, including me, as a way of working on the deficit, we not add another $300 million to it by contributing tax dollars to the g-d Vikings stadium? This makes no sense.

  • Annie

    It’s a quarter increase – big deal. Let’s be reasonable – it could be worse!!! You may $5.00 for a cup of coffee, and you are worried about an extra quarter for a bus ride?

  • fablady

    So they want to increase transit cost because of the 5 billion dollar deficit……seems to me someone should of been looking at the rising deficit costs long before they started building the new twins stadium, tcf stadium, northstar rail, light rail, and now their talking about a new vikings stadium, need I go on?

  • MRJ

    I’d like to know how the bus costs more here than it does in NY, which has a much more extensive system? Why does it take so long to get anywhere? I’d love to not drive my car. There is no alternative in public transit offerings. I’ll be riding my bike this summer, but am not a road warrior in the winter.

    In regards to the legislature: this is what people voted for. They didn’t want a government who’d think about the little guy.

  • No More Free Rides

    I would cut ALL state funding of mass transit. If you use these systems, then YOU pay for them. I am sick and tired of being taxed and paying for conveniences that I can’t use……….

    • Peter

      As long as you start paying a fair price for the roads you drive and park on.

      • pat

        We do Peter, and they wouldn’t be so crummy if we didn’t take money from roads to subsidize LRT.

  • pj

    “Twin City Rapid Transit Company”
    The metro area used to have very good transit system tell “corruption and greed” destroyed it. Looks like history is about repeat it self again!

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