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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Muni Mulling Fast Pass Price Hike: It's Good for Poor People?

Posted By on Thu, Mar 6, 2008 at 12:20 PM

click to enlarge muni_mess.jpg

A Newsom-appointed panel of transportation experts recommends raising the monthly Muni pass by as much as $15 in the next two years — from $45 to $60 — to offset the potential of a $66 million budget deficit by 2010. Muni's chief financial officer Sonali Bose puts the options in pretty stark terms: Pass the burden onto Muni riders or cut back new services. But wait! It's not all bad: According to Muni, raising Fast Pass prices will actually help poor people:

Bose said the fare increase would also offer justification for Muni’s poorer commuters, who cannot pay the $45 monthly up-front fee and are forced to dole out $1.50 each time they use public transit — a cost that can accumulate greatly over a month of travel. “It’s unfortunate that those who can’t pay for monthly passes are subsidizing transportation costs for those who can,” Bose said.

Did I miss something here? Because the Examiner story never mentions the possibility of $1.50 individual tickets prices going up or down, just monthly passes, and — correct me if I'm wrong — helping poor people usually involves lowering prices, not just raising prices for "rich" people who can afford Fast Passes. At any rate, despite all the fare increase chitchat, MTA director Nathaniel Ford says it's all "purely speculative" at the moment. (via SF Examiner)

Image courtesy/TransBayBlog

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