Passenger union asks for free passage to be established until December 31.
Metro service in Los Angeles continues despite the concern of drivers. (Archive)
Aurelia Ventura / Impremedia / La Opinion
The board of directors of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) voted yesterday to take steps to cut transportation costs in half; The goal is to provide financial assistance to passengers after the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic passes.
Passes could cost $ 3.50 for a daily ticket, $ 12.50 for seven days and $ 50 for a 30-day pass for no less than six months.
"I think it is time for Metro to come together to provide relief to its own passengers," said Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is a member of the Metro board of directors. “We have known for a long time that the structure of the rates is not perfect, the surcharge is present for some and not for others. And one of the biggest problems is the cost of full-price passes. ”
Garcetti explained that the current 30-day Metro pass is one of the least accessible public transportation in California and nationwide.
According to the institution's report, reducing the cost of the total price of passes would have an "impact on Metro's fare revenue." In February, Metro said it sold "only" about $ 2 million in full-price 30-day, seven-day passes and one-day passes.
Between rail and bus transportation, Metro serves more than 400,000 people per week.
The Board also directed its staff to prepare a marketing plan to inform frequent flyers of fare changes, with a particular emphasis on helping cash-paying passengers take advantage of the promotion and thus transition from cash payments to TAP card payments.
Channing Martinez, a member of the Los Angeles Bus Riders Union, said Metro should make its services free to users until December 31, "although he finally emphasized that at least the Board is making decisions in" the direction. correct ”.
“I am here to join the Bus Riders Union and implement free public transportation for all students in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD),” said Martinez. "Unfortunately, many LAUSD students are homeless and unable to pay the fee …"
In 30 days, a report will be presented with recommendations on the temporary reduction of fares for all Metro services, once normal transportation practices are resumed.
Just yesterday, the Board voted for the report to consider the recommendations of a Welcome Riders to Metro services campaign and to examine ways to keep passes affordable.