The cost to ride the train and city buses may be going up.
The issue of raising the Phoenix metropolitan area's regional fare policy has been brewing for several months as transit officials have struggled to cover rising gas prices and other increased operation costs, said Greg Jordan, Tempe's transit administrator.
Transit and light-rail costs are covered by a half-cent sales tax, which has fallen over the past year.
Sales-tax revenue fell by about 8 percent in August compared with the same month a year ago, according to the Maricopa Association of Governments.
Proposals to raise fares are expected to come before Valley Metro's board, which oversees bus and light-rail service and is comprised of Phoenix-area mayors and City Council members, in January and February.
The first fare increase could come as early as summer. The second increase would follow in summer 2010.
Under proposed fare changes, local day passes would rise to $4.50 from $2.50; express day passes would rise to $6.50 from $3.50 and 31-day local passes would increase to $55 from $45 while 31-day express passes would rise to $85 from $68.
In addition, local passes would rise to $1.75 from $1.25 and express fares would rise to $2.75 from $1.75.
If approved, the increases are expected to reduce ridership while increasing revenue.
The proposed increases are projected to generate $76 million more in fare revenue from July 2010 through July 2013 while decreasing passenger boardings by 28 million over the same period, according to an estimate compiled by Jordan.
The changes would mark the first hike in about a year and the second in 13 years.
Valley Metro increased the price of 31-day passes last December to $45 from $34 for local buses and $68 from $51 for express buses. At that time, it also reduced the cost of all-day bus passes to $2.50 from $3.60.