Fares for Capital Metro will be changing January 26 as we launch our new tiered fare system that will consist of three main service categories: Local, Premium and Commuter. At the same time we launch this new system you can expect to see a “new look” on passes, too. New fares go into effect Jan. 26.
- We’re adding a new “Premium” fare with the start of MetroRapid service on Jan. 26. Premium fares will cost $1.50 for a Single Ride, $3 for a Day Pass, $13.50 for a 7-Day Pass and $49.50 for a 31-Day Pass.Services included in the Premium fare category will be MetroRapid and Flyer Routes 100-199, which have limited stop service. By purchasing a Premium pass, riders will have access to all Local bus service, as well. The new pass is now available for purchase at local retail outlets, at capmetro.org and at the Transit Store, located downtown at 209 W. 9th Street.
Capital Metro passes will be temporarily unavailable at area H-E-B stores between Jan. 25-27, but will go on sale beginning the morning of Jan. 28.
- The current “Regional” fare category, becomes the new “Commuter” category. Passes of this type include access to MetroRail, MetroExpress, Local and Premium services.
- Capital Metro is eliminating rail zones after Jan. 26. Riders who purchase a Commuter pass can also board rail connector buses, however those purchasing a Single Ride will also need to buy a Local Single Ride for $1 if they would like to make a connection. MetroRail platforms will sell only Commuter fares at ticket vending machines.
- New Single Ride for MetroAccess riders, which will allow for extra flexibility in trip planning. Available for $1.50 for qualifying customers, and will be available for sale at the Transit Store or through the new mobile app.
- All Local and Regional passes and Stored Value Cards will continue to work normally until they expire, and customers who purchase passes before Jan. 26 may also continue to use them until they expire. The sale of passes will be limited to two per customer beginning January 20th.
- Reduced 7-Day Passes will not work after Jan. 26 and will no longer be available for purchase after the new fare structure goes into effect. This type of pass can be upgraded to a Reduced 31-Day Pass between Jan. 27-Feb. 28 at the Transit Store.
Capital Metro will continue its current partnerships with The University of Texas, Austin Community College and the City of Austin to provide access to all services throughout 2014.
As part of the rollout of MetroRapid service on Jan. 26, Capital Metro will introduce a new free mobile app that lets passengers buy Local, Premium, Commuter and MetroAccess passes with their smart devices. After a pass is purchased, the smart device then becomes the rider’s pass. The app, called the CapMetro App, can be downloaded starting Jan. 20 through the Apple Store, Google Play and Windows Store. Between Jan. 20-Feb. 28, Capital Metro will offer a free 7-Day Premium Pass (limit one free pass per customer) to those who use the new app to purchase any 7- or 31-Day Premium Passes. New passes riders pre-purchased before the fare change will not be valid for use until Jan. 26.
Key Fare Change Dates:
- Jan. 13 – Premium Passes for MetroRapid & Flyer Routes go on sale at local retail outlets, capmetro.org and the Transit Store.
- Jan. 20 – Cap Metro Mobile App available for download in Apple Store, Google Play and Windows Store.
- Jan. 20-Feb. 28 – Buy one 7-Day or 31-Day Premium Pass on the new mobile app, get one 7-Day Premium Pass free (limit one free pass per customer).
- Jan. 25 – All other new Local and Commuter passes go on sale at local retail outlets, capmetro.org and the Transit Store.
- Jan. 26 – New fare structure goes into effect; Reduced 7-Day Passes can no longer be used or purchased.
- Jan. 27-Feb. 28 – Expired unused passes can be upgraded at the Transit Store.
- Jan. 28 – All new passes available for purchase at area H-E-B stores.
More info on the fare change:
Capital Metro’s current fares are lower than the average of all Texas transit agencies, and some of the lowest fares nationwide. When adjusted for inflation, the current single ride fare of $1 has less value than the fare in 1985 when the agency was founded.
Although the cost of doing business has steadily grown, Capital Metro has not passed its rising costs along to its customers. From 1990 to 2008, the base fare remained at 50 cents, even though the cost of gas increased by 150 percent during that same time period. Capital Metro did have modest fare increases in 2008 and 2010. In 2011, the agency introduced a half-priced fare for seniors and persons with disabilities.
To help low-income residents in the community who may have affordability issues with the new fares, Capital Metro is committed to ensuring the system is accessible to everyone in the community, regardless of income.
In 2011, Capital Metro helped establish the Basic Transportation Needs Fund (BTNF), a non-profit organization that helps a variety of social service agencies meet the transportation needs of their clients. So far, Capital Metro has invested half a million dollars in the fund, and as part of the fare restructure approved in 2013, the board of directors voted to add $100,000 to the BTNF for FY2014.
What was the process?
Capital Metro sought out feedback to its proposal in 2013 through a series of public outreach opportunities. The proposal was approved by the board of directors last September. The fare restructure will be implemented over the next two years and is consistent with the board-adopted fare policy that recommends fare adjustments be developed in conjunction with the annual budget process.
For more information on the changes to Capital Metro’s fares, visit capmetro.org/farechange or call the GO Line at 512-474-1200.