MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Metro Transit is looking at a rate hike for the first time in nearly a decade.
It’s part of a plan to address a multi-million-dollar budget deficit. Three proposals outline what the increase could look like.
People rely on Metro Transit to get around, whether it’s by bus, light rail or Metro Mobility.
“Every day from Monday through Friday,” said rider Sabriana Phang.
Riders have paid the same amount since 2008, but that could change because Metro Transit faces a projected $74-million budget shortfall.
That is in part because of a lower-than-expected motor vehicle sales tax contribution and the high cost of Metro Mobility.
“What we’ve seen over the last number of years is uncertainty and uncertainty at different levels in terms of the funding sources we expect,” said Metropolitan Council Chair Adam Duninick. “And without that certainty, we’re trying to figure out how can we have a better planning outlook for the next few years.”
A rate increase could be part of the solution. The first scenario increases everything by 25 cents. The next increases local fares by 25 cents, and express fares by 50 cents. The final does the same, plus it creates a single express fare category of $3.50 for all time periods.
“It does add up,” one rider said.
Any increase will be a hardship for some.
“I don’t make enough for like, where I can’t save money, too. So I won’t be able to pay for it or afford it if they increase it,” Phang said.
Other riders say whatever the cost, they’ll take it in stride.
“It doesn’t matter to me. A quarter is not going to make or break me,” Bhruen said.
The scenarios expect to bring in between $6.2 million and $7.1 million. Before any rate increase can move forward, several public meetings will be held where you will have the chance to offer input. The meetings will happen this spring.