The Prince George's County Council approved a Metro package Tuesday that recommends a 5-cent increase in fares during peak hours, a combined bus-rail transfer system and a proposed compromise for use of the Potomac Avenue Metro station.
The Council's decision to approve fare increase during peak hours (6 to 9:30 a.m. and 3 to 6:30 p.m. weekdays) was coupled with a rejection of a 10-cent increase during off-peak hours and a postponement of a proposedextension of discount fares to the elderly and handicapped riders.
In proposing the rejection of the 10-cent increase, Dee Allison, transit specialist in the county's department of public works and transportation, said ridership had increased 15 per cent in the last year in the county and that a fare increased at this time could lose 10 per cent or more of those riders.
The combined bus-rail transfer system, called an interface plan, will bring residents by bus to various centralized Metro stations where they would continue the rest of the trip into the District by rail.
This plan is expected to be accompanied by azoned fare increase, which could mena that a $1.50 round-trip bus ride would cost $2.10.
Councilman Parris N. Glendening opposed the interface plan. "As you shift the charge to those who ride, you drive their costs up and reduce ridership," he said.
Part of the interface plan that has caused controversy within the District and in Prince George's is the Potomac Avenue Metro station.
Originally, Metro called for buses waiting for Maryland-bound afternoon traffic to stack up on side streets in the Kentucky and Potomac Avenues area off Pennsylvania Avenue but the District thought idling buses would create noise and air pollution in the residential area and proposed the Stadium-Armory station as an alternate place to change from the train to bus.
Prince George's objected to that because it added an extra mile in the one-wat trip and would add $150,000 a year in mileage costs that the country would have to pay Metro.
A compromise was reached last week that would create a layover place for buses in the afternoon rush on an unused ramp of the Southeast Freeway under the Sousa Bridge. The area is only a one-minute drive from the Potomac Avenue Metro station.
Currently, police and fire personnel receive pay increases on a sliding scale for any college work completed in excess of 15 hours.