A Metro board committee recommended yesterday a 10-cent increase in the rush-hour bus fare for D.C. passengers and a decrease in the subway fares for passengers who board and fect when rail service expands July 1.
Under the proposals, rushphour bus fares for passengers who board and fect when rail service expands July 1.
Under the proposal, rushphour bus fares for passengers who board and ride only in the District will go from 40 cents to 50 cents - the first increase in the basic D.C. public transit fare in seven years. The rate would stay at 40 cents the rest of the time.
Under the complicated subway fare schedule, the basic at all hours would be 40 cents to board hte train and ride three miles. Each additional mile would cost 7.5 cent during the rush hour, and 3.75 cents during the offpeak periods.
It is not possible to compare that proposal directly with the present subway fares, which are collected by hand on the five-mile system operating only in downtown. It costs 55 cents to ride the train any distance on that system during the rush hour, and 40 cents the rest of the time.
When Metro adds 12 miles of subway on July 1, it will introduce automated fare collecting equipment that can figure out how far you went and how much you owe. The new subway fare adopted yesterday is somewhat lower than another schedule that had previously been approved.
For example, a trip from 13th and G Streets NW (Metro Center) to National Airport is scheduled to cost 70 cents during the rush hour, but will cost only 50 cents under the committee recommendation.
A trip from Metro Center to RFK Stadium (Stadium-Armory) is scheduled to cost 55 cents during rush hour, but would reduced to 45 cents under the recommendation. When another Metro line to Silver Spring is opened in November, the subway ride from Metro Center is scheduled to cost 95 cents suring rush hour. The recommendations would be reduce that to 75 cents.
There also would be reductions in the joint bus-rail fare structures for the thousands of riders who would need to use d both systems.
The recommendations of the committee must be approved by the full Metro board after its members have received guidance from the councils and boards that govern the area's political urisdicitons. Usually but not always, committee recommendations win full board approval.
D.C. Councilman Marion Barry has been leading an effort to keep the D.C. bus fare at 40 cents, and any plan to increase that to 50 cents is going to require D.C. board members to overcome whatever strength Barry can muster.
The full Metro board also voted yesterday to continue studying the possibility of hiring an outside contractor to operate the Metrobus system. Preliminary studies of that option had elicited interest from one qualified company, ATE Management and Service Co., Inc., Metro general manager Theodore Lutz said yesterday.
Discussion of specifics will continue with ATE, although several board members expressed doubt that private management was the best way to go.