Rolling Out New Fare Structure January 26

new_passesFares 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. Continue reading “Rolling Out New Fare Structure January 26”

The Fare Policy

Yesterday the board adopted a Fare Policy that will guide the board and our staff when deliberating changes to fares in the future.  It details the fare change process and the objectives that will be considered when contemplating a fare change. In my opinion the policy is a great benefit to customers because it adds some transparency and accountability to the topic and the process.

The overall financial goal is to recover a minimum of 20 percent of transit operating costs with fares paid through the farebox by individual passengers and through our agreements with organizations like UT, ACC and the city of Austin. (The projected farebox recovery after the fares change on Jan. 16 is 12.5 percent.)

It’s tricky business, because we want to both keep fares affordable and yet also maximize revenue to help maintain and expand transit operations.  So the policy attempts to provide a framework for striking the right balance.

But achieving a 20 percent farebox recovery goal is more than just raising fares. The other two actions that improve farebox recovery are increasing ridership and controlling/reducing costs. The policy acknowledges that fact, and the board emphasized this point and their desire for staff to focus on all three areas, not just fares.

Board Member Frank Fernandez, who chairs the Finance and Audit Committee and pushed for the creation of the policy, said, “Hopefully what this policy does is helps set expectations: this is our process when we’re looking at fares and trying to make them fair. We want them low enough so people can afford them but not hurt us in terms of our long term sustainability.”

Capital Metro adopts new fares effective Jan. 16, 2011

Last night the Capital Metro board adopted a new fare structure that will become effective Jan. 16, 2011 (in conjunction with the January service change).

The board made a few adjustments to the proposal presented by staff: added a Reduced Local seven-day pass at $4.50 and a Reduced Regional seven-day pass at $10; and, removed the provision that MetroAccess customers can ride free on fixed-route buses to allow staff 60 days to study the issue and to study the feasibility of an annual pass. Also, although staff had originally recommended an increase to the RideShare monthly fee, after further discussion, staff decided it would be better to leave RideShare fares as is for now. The Planning Department has been discussing a new structure entirely for RideShare fares, one based on mileage and the number of participants in the carpool/vanpool (basically creating an incentive for vanpool groups to keep a full van). Since that new structure may come to fruition within the next year, it didn’t make sense to raise RideShare fares now.

Here are the fares approved by the board:

Capital Metro Fares to Increase January 18

Today the Capital Metro Board approved a fare increase that will take effect Monday, January 18. Local bus fare will increase to $1.00, pending further action by the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO). In accordance with SB 1263 of the 81st Texas Legislature, CAMPO can veto the single-ride base bus fare within 60 days from today. Seniors and riders with disabilities will continue to ride Capital Metro for free with a Capital Metro-issued ID Card.  See the full slate of new fares behind the cut. Continue reading “Capital Metro Fares to Increase January 18”