Bus and rail riders may have to pay more in 2024. The TriMet Board of Directors will vote on a proposed fare increase during its next meeting this Wednesday, May 24th. The public transportation company invites people to provide feedback on the proposal at the public hearing or via email. The meeting runs from 9 a.m. through 1 p.m. from the University of Oregon Portland campus at 70 NW Couch Street.
TriMet has avoided increasing most fares since 2012, despite rising gas, utilities, labor, and supply costs. The transit operator seeks to address inflation and supplement the growing operational costs through this fare increase. However, any increase in transportation costs can negatively impact those who are struggling with the rising cost of housing and food. Monthly pass holders will not see any price increase as part of this proposal. Adult riders would pay an additional 30 cents for a two-and-a-half-hour ticket, taking it from $2.50 to $2.80. The highest proposed increase affects the Adult Day Pass, bringing the cost to $5.60 from $5.00. If approved, the new fares would take effect on January 1st, 2024.
The public forum portion of the board meeting will begin at 9 a.m. and run for a maximum of 45 minutes. Individual comments are limited to 2 or 3 minutes, depending on the number of speakers. People wishing to comment on any TriMet topic, including the fare increase proposal, should sign up to speak by 9 a.m. on May 24th. Virtual testimony is available via Zoom. However, people interested in voicing their opinions online must visit trimet.org/meetings/board by noon on May 23rd and register to receive a link. TriMet will live stream the meeting on YouTube.
The TriMet Board of Directors meeting will be the final opportunity for transit leaders to hear public comments on the fare increase proposal prior to their vote. Increasing the cost of ridership could further reduce the already diminished post-pandemic ridership, and some groups have called for removing all TriMet fees to lessen personal vehicle trips. Without significant changes to the funding mode used for public transportation, this increase is likely the quickest way to bolster the bus and rail operator. However, this increase will likely impact many people who have no other options but to use public transit and are already dealing with strained personal budgets.
Update: On May 24th, 2023, TriMet’s Board of Directors approved the proposed fare increase. The new pricing will go into effect January 1st, 2024.
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