Metro subway riders and most suburban Metrobus passengers would pay a minimum of 5 cents more per rushhour trip beginning July 1 under new fare schedules proposed by a Metro board committee yesterday.
The committee's fare proposals are routinely submitted to public hearings by the full Metro board. After the hearings the board sets the final fare schedule, and an increase of some magnitue is certain. There is considerable pressure on the board to raise fares in the face of Metro's local tax-supported deficit, projected to be $95.4 million in fiscal 1980.
The full Metro board yesterday, reflecting concern about that deficit, excluded Sunday subway service from its fiscal 1980 budget proposal. That budget was sent to local area governments for comment and the notation that Sunday service would be instituted -- but at the cost of about $800,000 in subsidies.
Metro started night-time and Saturday subway operations last September and both have been popular with riders.
The fare increases proposed for July 1 are, as always with Metro, complicated.
Two new fare formulas are proposed. Under both formulas, rushhour riders would be able to travel three miles for 45 cents -- a 5-cent increase for most subway trips. Each additional mile beyond three would cost either 9 cents or 10 cents, depending on which formula is adopted. The present fare is 8.5 cents for each additional mile.
That means that the rush-hour rider from Silver Spring, who now pays 80 cents for a trip to Metro Center, would be charged either 85 cents or 90 cents -- depending on which formula is adopted. A rush-hour rider from New Carrollton, who now pays $1 to ride to Emtro Center, would pay either $1.10 or $1.20.
Rush-hour riders who travel under the Potomac River will have the same minimum fare as everyone else under both formulas. That is a change from the current fare schedule, which requires a minimum 45-cent fare for crossing the river during rush hour.
Rush hour is defined by Metro as being between 6 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. weekdays.
The present nonrush-hour fare of 50 cents for all trips on the subway will remain. That flat fare has been especially popular with Metro's Saturday crowd, partly because it is understandable.
District of Columbia bus riders get a break. There will be no increase in either the 50-cent rush-hour bus fare or the 40-cent off-peack fare. However, Metro will propose a 25-cent surcharge of the L-1 express bus that runs from upper Connecticut Avenue to Capitol Hill.
That would reinstitute an old express bus surcharge that Metro dropped when it acquired the D.C. Transit System.
Virginia bus riders, under a tentative proposal, would be charged 55 cents for a one-zone rush-hour trip, an increase of 5 cents, but all zone charges and off-peak fares would remain.
Maryland bus riders also would be assessed a 5-cents-per-ride increase during the rush hour, plus an additional zone charge of 5 cents. That would bring the basic Maryland rush-hour fare to 55 cents.
Metro's subway faries are negotiate on a regional basis. The bus fares are set by Maryland, Virginia and District of Columbia governments for their constitutents.
There would be no change in the costs of bus-rail passes sold in the three jurisdictions.
The fare increase package also will include a 25-cent increase in the parking fee at Metro lots charging less than $1. That means that the cost of all-day parking at New Carrollton will go to 75 cents and at Landover to $1. It is the clear intention of the Metro committee to apply the extra parking revenue to a beefed-up security program at Metro's large parking lots. A rape was reported at the Landover lot recently.
Sunday subway service was a major proposal of Metro general manager Theodore C. Lutz when he presented his budget to the board in September. However, the pressures of the operating deficit made it a caualty, at least for the moment.
Metro's budget committee, headed by Montgomery Couty board member Cleatus Barnett, held weeks of hearings that resulted in reductions in several categories.
Those cuts, combined with an increase in federal operating aid programs for big-city transit systems, reduced the subsidy for local governments from $103 million to 95.4 million. Metro's total subsidy, including federal aid, is projected at $120.3 million for fiscal 1980.
Total operating costs are projected at $217.2 million; revenues, excluding a fare increase, are projected at $96.9 million. Two-thirds of the operating cost is for the bus system, which recovers only about 41 percent of its costs in fares. The subway, which accounts for one-thrird of the deficit, recovers 48 percent of its costs in fares.
The amount of federal subsidy assumed is in line with the Carter administration budget proposal submitted Monday.