Higher Fares and Fees Proposed for Next Year’s MTA Budget

Adult Fast PassOn the agenda for Tuesday’s board meeting: a budget for the next two fiscal years (as required by last year’s Proposition A), with several fare and fine increases to cover a two-year operating deficit of $81 million. Most notable for Muni riders is a proposed $10 increase in the monthly Fast Pass, and a $5 increase in the discounted pass, beginning in 2009. However, it appears that cash fares won’t go up – so more riders will pay cash, which is exactly opposite of London’s strategy to move riders to passes to speed boarding. Parking fees are also proposed to increase.

More details as we see the exact budget proposal, but an initial recommendation: make it easier to get a fast pass! Muni needs to encourage more people to use passes, not more difficult and expensive. Many other systems let you buy a monthly pass via vending machines that take credit cards; only Muni forces you to go to a corner store, and hope they haven’t run out (see one blogger’s comment on this), or remember to order online during a twelve day window.

Update: Matier and Ross comment on the proposed expired meter fine, noting that it might scare away downtown shoppers – of course, ignoring entirely those shoppers who take mass transit.

Update 2: The MTA is expecting to raise $100M per year from parking fines from this year’s budget, spending it mainly on filling staffing shortages to improve service.