Valley Metro transit fares go up March 1

Posted: Updated:
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Valley Metro passengers will be paying a little more to ride, starting next month.

The fare increase takes effect Friday, March 1, 2013.  It will affect Valley Metro transit services including bus and light rail.

The current 1-Ride fare will increase by 25 cents on the local bus/LINK/light rail , and 50 cents on Express/RAPID. Valley Metro says the new fare structure allows Express/RAPID riders to more equitably share in the cost of transit operations.

"We realize that increasing fares can be challenging for our transit riders," said Valley Metro CEO Steve Banta.  "Passengers continue to express that they want to maintain existing transit services, so in order to keep up with rising operations costs we are implementing our first increase since 2009."

As a more affordable option to the 31-Day pass, riders will be able to purchase a 15-Day pass. It will give frequent riders the convenience of purchasing a multi-day pass, which is less costly than purchasing the 31-Day pass. In addition, the 3-Day pass will no longer be available due to lack of demand.

Increases will also occur on specific Dial-a-Ride services. As a way to keep pace with the bus and light rail fares, the ADA Dial-a-Ride fare will increase from $3.50 to $4.00. Pricing for this service is two times the 1-Ride fare.

Increases will occur on various Dial-a-Ride systems including the East Valley (Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale and Tempe), Northwest Valley (Sun City and Youngtown), Southwest Valley (Avondale, Goodyear and Tolleson) and Phoenix.

The Valley Metro Platinum Pass and ASU U-Pass will also be affected by the fare increase. However, employers and ASU will determine the increased cost to the pass holder. The Semester Pass, utilized by Maricopa County Community College students, will increase beginning with the summer 2013 pass.

Details on all fare increases, including Dial-a-Ride, are available on Valley Metro's website.