The Metro Board of Directors unanimously approved major fare hikes during an extended lunch break today. The lunch, not open to the media, lasted 3 hours and resulted in the budget agreement. The budget will be given final approval on June 24. From the looks of it, base fares will increase as expected to $1.60 with a $0.20 peak-of-the-peak surcharge. Bus fare will increase to $1.50.
According to reports, there will be no service cuts for the next fiscal year budget. This is a hopeful development, however at this point little is known about the final agreement. Budget negotiations during a closed-door lunch is not a good example of transparency, and leaves many questions about how the final decisions were reached.