Metro Raising Bus and Rail Fees

Mercy Watkins

Due to an extension of the green line Metro Rail students who ride Metropolitan operated buses and rails stationed in the So Cal area can expect a raise in fees by July 1, 2010.

A large percentage of students use metro buses and rails to get to and from school, not to mention weekend traveling. Transportation fees for both rails and buses will raise by $.25. All day passes will raise from $5- $6. This could cause a problem for students who do not buy monthly bus passes like Hector Navarro.

Navarro has used Metro buses since he was in sixth grade and takes the 266 to get to and from school every day. Students, as well as Navarro, say that this addition to the already costly fee of $1.25 for a one- way ride is unfair.

“Many people who take the bus now can barely pay $1.25. Some family’s even struggle to buy the monthly passes. There is no reason to raise bus fees. They’re just going to lose business,” Navarro said.

The Metropolitan green line extends from Norwalk to Redondo Beach. After construction, the Metropolitan green line will extend from Norwalk to Torrance. Students who regularly take Metro lines and buses have a very small chance of using the extension.

“They should only raise fees for people who use rails. Just because someone uses the bus to go somewhere doesn’t mean they’re going to use the rail to go anywhere,” Navarro said.

Metro can also raise security on ticket checking to get more people to buy rail passes. Rarely is there a ticket check on the Metro lines and that might be what is causing Metro to lose money.

This isn’t the first time that metro has raised its toll. In 2008 the fare was raised from $1 per one-way ticket to $1.25. If students purchase monthly passes at Metro stores they can get a student discount for an all month pass. Unlike one-way tickets and all- day passes, prices for student and senior month passes aren’t going up. John Franco’s parents both work for Metro and he believes that raising the fare is also being raised to cover a huge deficit.

“Metro has been in a $120,000 deficit for about two years now the new fees are probably to help Metro to get out of the deficit,” Franco said.

The state recently cut funding to Metro, which is also a cause for such a high deficit. If Metro stays is such a high deficit the number of workers and buses will be cut dramatically.  Students who live in different school district areas could have to jump to over 2-3 buses just to get to school everyday. Students who take Metro to go to weekend events or visit relatives with Metro lines will have to walk longer distances to get to their destination and may even expect another fare raise even after July 1, 2010.