MTA Rate Increases Go In Effect June 30

Effective June 30, following a series of public hearings, the Mass Transit Administration has decided to go forward with transit fare increases. Tickets will increase from $1.35 to $1.60 (with monthly passes going up to $64, and day passes to $3.50) on buses, light rail and subway. MARC round trip train fares to Washington will be increased by an average of 36%, neighborhood shuttle fares will go from 50 cents to $1.00, and fares for seniors and those who are disabled will go up from 45 cents to 55 cents.

In addition to raising fares, the MTA will cut services. For example, 12 bus lines will be cut (including the #86, #210, #731), as well as three runs on the Camden and Brunswick MARC lines. Further, neighborhood shuttles will come half as often-every 34 minutes, not every 17.

The increases were decided upon despite vigorous opposition by mass transit advocates.

The MTA last raised transit fares in 1996, but the advocates pointed out that the state's gas tax (which funds mass transit) has not been raised since 1992. They suggested increasing that tax would be a more equitable, and "green," way to supplement MTA coffers.

The Maryland legislature approved a smaller fare increase this winter, but Transportation Secretary Bob Flanagan has prevailed on Gov. Bob Ehrlich to override the legislature and charge the higher fares.

For more information, contact Citizens Planning and Housing Association (CPHA), which sponsors a subgroup called Transit Riders League of Metro Baltimore, at 410-539-1369, or go to MTAMaryland.com.

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This story was published on June 10, 2003.