MARTA is planning a 25 percent fare hike for the fall. The increase would push the one-way base fare from $2 to $2.50. The more painful change would be in the price of regular monthly passes from $68 to $95 – an increase of almost 40 percent. The latest fare hike comes just two years after the last one, which went into effect Oct. 1, 2009. MARTA fares had held steady for eight years before that.
MARTA’s board Chairman Jim Durrett told the AJC that the fare hike might be implemented in stages – 25 cents now and another 25 cents later – rather than all at once, but it sounds like some fare increase is a done deal.
The agency has already resorted to service cuts, staff reductions and borrowing from its capital reserves to slow its fiscal bleeding in the last few years. But with the capital reserves expected to be tapped out in just two years and the price of fuel creeping up, we’re probably going to keep paying more for less until the transportation tax kicks in.
If you’d like to have a word with MARTA about the proposed increase, there will be public hearings on May 16 and May 17.