METRO BUS FARES: New survey, asking you about 2 options for ‘simpler’ fares

Last month, we reported on Metro‘s first survey seeking opinions on how to – whether to – simplify fares. Now, Metro has come up with two options – and a new survey asking what you think about them – for adult fares (no changes are being considered for youth, senior, disabled, ORCA LIFT, or Access):

Our current adult fare structure includes extra charges for travel during weekday peak commute hours (6-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m.) and for trips that cross a zone boundary during those peak hours. Riders can pay $2.50, $2.75 or $3.25, depending on when and how far they travel.

We’re considering two options for making adult fares simpler:

Option 1: A single $2.75 fare for travel any time, any distance

Option 2: A $3 peak-period fare and a $2.50 off-peak fare, with no extra charge for two-zone travel

And you have two ways to tell Metro which you would prefer – answering an online survey by May 5th, or participating in a downtown meeting on April 25th or an online meeting on April 27th. Go here (scroll to the bottom) to see how to do any or all of the above.

23 Replies to "METRO BUS FARES: New survey, asking you about 2 options for 'simpler' fares"

  • JayDee April 19, 2017 (8:40 pm)

    It would seem like a single $2.75 fare (aside from any discount) would be easiest. 

    • 56bricks April 19, 2017 (9:18 pm)

      Be careful,you’re making sense.

  • CAM April 19, 2017 (9:22 pm)

    Aside from how this would affect my pocketbook I’m wondering how either option would influence the amount of money Metro is able to collect from fares. Do they have any information on how this would influence their proceeds from fares or passes? I’m keen to save a few bucks but am also invested in making sure public transit stays well funded. 

    • CAM April 19, 2017 (9:47 pm)

      I’m also wondering how this would affect the prices of the monthly passes. If the peak fare is raised to $3 will all pass holders then be required to spend more per month to move up to the next tier in the fee structure?

      • WSB April 19, 2017 (10:08 pm)

        Some good news – I went back to the page linked at the bottom, and if you keep scrolling …it’s one of those “reveals as you scroll” pages, so I didn’t notice this earlier (sorry to not know the technical term for that) … there’s information about some advisory group meetings, and one of them had this as collateral:

        http://www.kingcounty.gov/~/media/depts/transportation/metro/programs-projects/fare-review/metro-fare-options-summary.pdf

        It has some info on revenue effects. I don’t see anything about passes, though. Will make a note to follow up with Metro. – TR

        • CAM April 19, 2017 (10:28 pm)

          This is great! Thanks!

  • Kadoo April 19, 2017 (10:47 pm)

    Maybe instead of discontinuing youth and senior fares Metro should quit letting the bums ride for free. 

    • WSB April 19, 2017 (11:21 pm)

      Unless you’ve seen that somewhere else, there is nothing in this proposal about discontinuing any categories of fares. Only that they are proposing changes to regular adult fares.

      • Kadoo April 20, 2017 (7:11 am)

        It’s stated at the beginning of the survey. 

        • WSB April 20, 2017 (7:26 am)

          I just went through it and didn’t see that anywhere – there was again the reiteration of this “No fare changes for youth, senior, disabled, ORCA LIFT, or Access are being considered,” though. But I’ll verify with KCDOT when they’re in the office.

          • Kadoo April 20, 2017 (8:15 am)

            Mea culpa.  You are so right and I am mistaken.  No changes to youth and senior fares.  Thank goodness.  

    • Elton April 19, 2017 (11:56 pm)

      I haven’t seen bums ride for free – the free ride Zone ended years ago. But also, they’re not changing youth or senior fares. 

      • Kadoo April 20, 2017 (8:17 am)

        You’re right on the youth and senior fares, and I stand corrected.  Re: bums, we have friends who drive for Metro and carry the non-paying bums and can’t boot them off.  I doubt they ride during rush hour, so perhaps you haven’t seen them on your commute.  But they are there.  

        • Swede. April 20, 2017 (8:57 am)

          I’m guessing you reference ‘bums’ as anyone that doesn’t look like they can afford, dont want to or care about paying? 

          Well, metro drivers hob is to drive people safely and collect fares. When that collection of fares seams to be any form of endangering to there or anyone else’s health they don’t do it. Are daily attacks on drivers, physical and mental due to people don’t want to pay, they are late, they are early, the bus is to full, it’s not clean, the person didn’t have coffee etc. etc. 

          If you feel you can do a better job at enforcing fares from ‘the bums’ feel free to apply for driving, it’s contious open positions. 

  • TJV April 20, 2017 (8:54 am)

    I, unfortunately, can see Metro streamlining the fares. Which will directly affect me. I don’t ride peak so it will increase my cost by 10-15$ a month. I have no choice but to pay it. What would make it easier to accept is if Metro would just support the drivers and have fare enforcement on ALL the buses. I always pay and everyday get to ride with people that don’t pay. And, I am not referring to the bums. Because, there is only enforcement on the rapid rides there are ALOT of folks that choose not to pay.

  • justme April 20, 2017 (9:13 am)

    They are most definitely there….riding for free on the C into downtown especially. I had to finally ask a driver on the C to stop letting this one belligerent guy on for free because he was harassing women in the back. I have to tell a Metro driver how to do her job? I truly think she was intimidated by this man and kept letting him on, even through the front door. I stopped taking that route/time because of it.

    • MD April 20, 2017 (9:58 am)

      Fare enforcement and passenger extraction is not a Metro Driver’s job or responsibility.  Metro has Fare Enforcement Officers for fare enforcement duties on all Rapid Ride Lines.  If a passenger is being belligerent and causing unsafe behavior, drivers are instructed to stop the coach in safe and proper manor, call Metro control dispatch, and inform the Metro Controller if KC Metro Sheriff’s department and/or a Metro Supervisor needs to be dispatched to remove the passenger in question.  If it is a reoccurring incident then there is an internal Metro reporting system a driver can submit to Metro management for further investigation.

       Metro Drivers are just that – Bus Drivers.  Metro Drivers are not Enforcement Officers.

       Current Metro Driver 

    • South Park Sassy April 20, 2017 (10:32 am)

      It’s the policy not to confront folks that do not pay or harass fellow riders in a non-illegal way…verbal altercations, taking extra seats, etc. They’re more afraid of the law suits and L&I claims from bus drivers being hurt by belligerent folks.  And the belligerent folks know it.  It stinks for paying riders.

    • Sue H April 20, 2017 (11:18 am)

      Why do you assume he was getting on free? For Rapid Ride there are often orca readers to swipe at the bus stop, and then you don’t have to swipe on the bus.     

  • South Park Sassy April 20, 2017 (9:38 am)

    I’m not a metro rider so I didn’t know there was peak pricing.  But wow…in a city that is practically forcing folks to commute to the city by bus by allowing apt complexes to be built without parking it seems hypocritical to then upcharge them for the privilege.  If anything, you’d think the cost would be lower during peak hours because the busses are always full.   

    • West Seattle since 1979 April 20, 2017 (12:32 pm)

      1.  King County Metro runs the buses. The City of Seattle is the one allowing apartment buildings without parking.  Two different entities.

      2.  Peak fares have been in existence since at least the early 1980s, which (I think) was well before there were a lot of apartments built with minimal or no parking.  (I could be wrong about how long the city has been allowing minimal or no parking though.)

  • newnative April 20, 2017 (1:46 pm)

    I think having the peak fares higher and the off peak lower because: when I worked where I lived, I only took the bus on the weekends and could not afford a pass. I’m sure there are people who work low wage jobs that rely on the bus for shopping and entertainment and appreciate the lower fares when the buses run infrequently.  

    When I travel during commuter hours, I would be willing to pay more because I expect a reliable, punctual service. 

  • nervesofsteele May 5, 2017 (5:36 pm)

    I prefer the single adult fare option!

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