The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) will increase transit fares this summer. A one-way ticket will increase by 10 cents, while the price of a weekly pass will decrease from $22 to $20. Fares for the MARC train service and commuter bus will not increase.
Light rail, Metro Subway and regular riders will pay $1.80 for one-way fares and 80 cents for disabled and elderly riders. According to the MTA, the new prices will not go into effect until June 25. The price increases represent what is required under a 2013 law.
Legislative analysts have questioned MTA’s interpretation of the law. Under the new law, the decision to round up to the nearest 10 cents will mean the hikes have been well above inflation.
Governor Larry Hogan has ordered a $135 million renovation of the city’s bus system known as BaltimoreLink, which is designed to decrease extended waiting times for buses. The new prices are scheduled to go into effect a week after the rollout of the renovation project, but MTA officials deny any connection between the two.
Some riders are concerned that the new bus routes under the BaltimoreLink plan will not provide the service they require and will be extremely confusing. In some parts of the city, buses will travel in dedicated lanes, while some buses will receive priority at intersections with traffic lights.
Under the law, the fares should typically increase every two years, putting them in line with the consumer price index, a measure that analyzes the average price of consumer goods and services to estimate inflation. Between 2013 and 2017, regular fares will have increased by 12.5 percent, while disabled and senior transit fares increased by 45.5 percent. Until 2015, transit fares had not increased since 2003 and they would be much higher today, if they had kept pace with inflation.
MTA’s New Price List Effective June 25
Full price – $180
Disability/Senior – $.80
Student – $1.30
Mobility – $2
Full price – $4.20
Disability/Senior – $2.10
7-Day Pass – $20
Full price – $72
All-Access College Transit Pass
Student – $52.90
Express Bus Monthly Pass
Full Price – $90
20 Trip Book
Mobility – $40