Transit board approves 10-cent bus fare hike

Thursday, December 15, 2011 at 5:55pm

Commuters will have to pull out an extra dime –– or two –– to ride the bus in Nashville.

Metro Transit Authority’s board of directors voted Thursday to approve a 10-cent hike on basic routes, raising fares from $1.60 to $1.70. The board approved a 20-percent increase in the Access Cash cab fare, a bump from $3.20 to $3.40.

Increases, scrutinized during a series of public meetings in November, mark the transit authority’s first fare adjustments in four years. Metro officials say rising health care costs, coupled with fuel and operating demands, make the fare hikes necessary. The authority relies on more than 1.7 million gallons of diesel fuel each year.

“We are committed to providing high quality, cost-efficient services and want to avoid cutting services,” MTA CEO Paul J. Ballard said in a statement. “It is necessary to make these modest increases.”

In addition to the MTA fare increases, the Regional Transportation Authority on Wednesday approved a 50-cent increase in its regional express bus fare, raising it to $4. The price for a 20-ride pass for the regional express is now $70.

All changes are effective Jan. 6.

The decision to approve the bus fare hikes comes during a momentous week for mass transit in Nashville.

On Monday, Mayor Karl Dean announced plans to “move boldly forward” with a $136 million bus rapid transit project along a so-called east-west connector –– extending from West End Avenue and White Bridge Road, to downtown Broadway, across the Cumberland River to East Nashville.

Though funding is still unclear, Dean said he hopes to have the new BRT system in place by late 2014 or early 2015.

5 Comments on this post:

By: yucchhii on 12/16/11 at 9:33

yucchhii Number #1-The transit board doesn't have to worry about the fare hike because they get to ride FREE!!! Number two- Anywhere else I have lived, when it came to bus fares, when you went OUTbound and you got off the bus, they gave you "TRANSFERS". Transfers would normally be good for atleast a couple hours to get you on another bus going another route. Nashville has this thing going on called "GREED!" I have lived in several other states before comming here and I swear, I have NEVER seen MORE GREEDY people than I have seen HERE!! Y'all know what a BUTTHOLE is? Yeah? Well now you know where you can put your fare increasses!!!

By: JeffF on 12/16/11 at 10:39

Transfers are a great idea. Maybe MTA can end its fascination with making all routes go to the same single spot in downtown and recreate its routes into a network making transfers useful and common.

It is probably wise to warn our suburban neighbors that Deano and the few surviving Democratic state legislators are eyeing you like you are a wounded wildebeest a they are a pack of starving hyaenas. Nashville is out of transit money due to its perennial desire to use transportation as a downtown renewal project. They need your money so they can run more downtown oriented transit routes.

By: catenarykat on 12/18/11 at 10:00

Sounds like you've made up your minds, but would you consider this? Transfers may cost us a little less up front, but they slow things down. There are always some people who try to use them inappropriately. Have you ever been behind someone boarding a bus who is arguing with the dirver over a transfer? Transfers don't go with the newer electronic fareboxes and modern systems in other cities have done away with them, too. An all day pass is a pretty good alternative. There's still no better deal for the cost. How can they be greedy when our rides on the bus are heavily subsidized either way? MTA is a public service. It does not make money. No transit system in the country pays for itself with fares.
Remember the cross town route from Opry Mills to Hickory Hollow? It was dropped for lack of ridership. Nashville's streets are not laid out on a grid system like New York, and there aren't enough sidewalks to connect bus routes outside the core of the urban area.

By: courier37027 on 12/18/11 at 2:48

I thought Obama care would keep health insurance premiums low via the clearinghouse marketplace concept. Also, where are the criticism on Dean and MTA for this rate increase hurting the most vulnerable, working class Nashvillians?

By: JeffF on 12/19/11 at 1:56

You mean a route that connected one mall to another didn't succeed? That is surprising. I would think that people would be lined up to forego their jobs and homes to spend all day travelling back and forth between a dying retail center and a tourist oriented one.

Sidewalks are the primary infrastructure failing of the last 4 administrations. If they had spent a little less money making sure every transportation modal was pointed at the tall, pointy buildings they could have built a some sidewalks. In downtown, functioning sidewalks are torn up and replaced with decorative ones, meanwhile Antioch, Bellevue, and Donelson residents are walking in highway gutters to bus stops if they are lucky enough to get a job in downtown (the place where all the buses go). To use a lack of sidewalks (an issue created not evolved) as a reason to deny needed and sensible public transportation is absurd. Fix this downtown-first mentality so everyone in Nashville can get the service they need.