Last spring, Metro launched two surveys about simplifying fares. The second one asked about two options. Today, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced the County Council will be asked to approve one of those options – a $2.75 flat fare. That would be a fare reduction for some riders. Otherwise, the announcement notes:
An estimated 35 percent of Metro boardings take place during off-peak hours, and those passengers would pay 25 cents more.
21 percent of off-peak riders pay full adult fares without any subsidy or employer-sponsored pass.
14 percent of off-peak riders use employer or organization-sponsored transit passes.
About 31 percent of Metro riders qualify for ORCA Lift, youth, senior and disabled fares. They would see no change.
The ordinance would include additional funding to help passengers who earn very low incomes not covered by ORCA Lift and passengers least able to pay during off-peak hours:
-Increased funding for the Human Services Ticket Program, from $3.6 million to $4 million, to offset higher cost for social service agencies that distribute discount tickets. Forty-four percent of tickets sold through the program are for off-peak trips.
-Working with ORCA partners to reduce fees for adult and youth ORCA cards and eliminate the $3 card fee for seniors and people with disabilities.
-Continuing to work with schools, colleges and universities to enhance fare programs for students.
The announcement says the soonest this could take effect is July of next year. Here’s more background on the process that led up to this proposal.