Bus and Metrorail fares will increase 25 cents starting Oct.1, Miami-Dade Transit has announced.
The increase, from $2 to $2.25, is the result of the recent approval by county commissioners of a new budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. This is the first transit fare increase since 2008 when fares went up from $1.50 to $2.
“This fare increase, the first in five years, is necessary to help defray operational costs,” an MDT statement said. “Despite this necessary increase, it is important to note that taking transit is still a cost-effective transportation option.”
Transit officials said Metrobus and Metrorail service overall will continue operating without cutbacks. In the last months, rumors circulated in transportation circles that transit was contemplating the possibility of service cuts because of budgetary reasons.
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Though the increase is smaller than the previous one in 2008, it will nevertheless disrupt the budgets of tens of thousands of riders – many of whom have limited resources. The bulk of the more than 340,000 people who use transit services on weekdays in Miami-Dade ride MDT’s fleet of 817 Metrobuses. MDT figures show at least 243,000 average weekday boardings on Metrobus vehicles.
Metrorail has two lines, including one to Miami International Airport which began operating in 2012. Transit officials said that in 2012, MTD services transported about 108 million passengers. Besides Metrorail and Metrobus, MDT also operates an elevated automatic train downtown known as Metromover, which will remain free.
The fare increase also will not affect riders who carry passes known as Golden and Patriot Passports. They will continue to ride free.
Golden Passport passes are issued to Miami-Dade residents who are 65-years-old or older. Patriot Passports are for Miami-Dade residents who are honorably discharged veterans and whose annual income is $22,000 or less.
Other MDT increases approved last week include the cost of paratransit trips, from $3 to $3.50, as well as the price of daily, weekly and monthly transit passes, MDT said in the statement. Currently, 1-day passes are $5. They’ll go up to $5.65. The cost of a 7-day pass, currently $26, will rise to $29.25; and the price of a one-month pass will go from $100 to $112.50.