As many of you know by now, there is likely to be a bus fare increase this spring. Given the price of fuel and transit funding constraints, I don’t think Metro really had a choice, so I grudgingly support the increase.
On the other hand, I think it’s time for the state and the county to rethink the way transit is paid for. Currently, Metro’s has two major sources of funding: sales taxes and fares. I’d like to see us explore other options (congestion pricing, tolling, gas taxes, etc.) and explore the possibility of making transit free. My hope is that doing this would have two benefits: reducing fare disputes, thereby making buses faster and safer, and encouraging more people to ride. I talked about this a bit (a very little bit) on KUOW’s Weekday a couple of weeks ago.
Your turn. Should Metro increase fares? If so, is 25 cents enough? If not, how do you think the agency should address the funding shortfall? (One idea, of course, is more bus wraps. Sorry. Couldn’t resist.)