The Metro Board voted early this afternoon to use fare hikes, and not rail service cuts, to cover a $40M budget gap for the rest of FY 2010, which ends in June. The fare increase will go into effect on 1 March 2010, raising the minimum fare on Metro to $1.75 during rush, and $1.45 during offpeak. The move is just one of a group of measures that will cover the budget gap, and was said by GM John Catoe to potentially raise $9-11M in extra fares.
Also included the measures adopted by the Metro Board were staff cutbacks at the transit agency (mostly open positions) and other measures, but significantly absent from them was a transfer from the capital budget to operating funds, which could have jeopardized future purchasing for Metro.
In addition to the fare hike, the council also elected Peter Benjamin from Maryland to the chairman’s position, replacing Ward One councilman Jim Graham who is cycling off the chairmanship.