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One-way rides for Metro bus and light-rail riders will go up in price July 1 from $1.25 to $1.50, according to a scheduled fare increase that has been on the books for nearly two years. A daily pass will increase to $6 from $5, and monthly passes will bump up from $62 to $75.
A Metro spokesman told the Weekly that seniors, people with disabilities, students, and Medicare patients were shielded from rate hikes for five years under Measure R, the half-cent sales tax for regional transportation approved by county voters in 2008. The fare hikes had been scheduled to take effect last summer but were also put off under Measure R.
The Los Angeles Times, however, spins the scheduled price increases as a way for Metro to deal with a $204 million budget deficit. A Bus Riders Union representative told the paper the monthly pass increase amounts to "a meal on the table" for the average rider, who makes $12,000 to $17,000 a year.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board will take up the issue Thursday, with one motion on the table asking that special measures be taken within 60 days to educate the public on the hikes, the spokesman said. The board could also put off the rate hikes altogether. There will likely be a special board meeting in May on the topic as well.