Valley Metro is proposing a hike to transit fares by July 2012 in response to the growing cost of operating its bus and light rail services. The agency is looking to boost the $1.75 one-ride fare to $2 and increase all-day passes from $3.50 to $4. The cost of a 31-day pass would go from $55 to $64, with express 31-day passes changing from $85 to $96.
Valley Metro aims to collect at least 25 percent of its operational costs through fares, but that share has fallen to 23 percent, the agency reports. The fair hike is similar to what many other transit agencies have done, according to the American Public Transit Association. That group reports that 79 percent of transit agencies have or are considering higher fares or reduced service.
Valley Metro's board of directors will make a decision on the fares in the spring, but the agency plans several public hearings before acting.
The first East Valley meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Tempe Transportation Center, 200 E. Fifth St. Another hearing will take place 6 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Mesa City Plaza, 20 E. Main St. An open house will be held at both events from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., with the public hearing taking place 6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.