Riding the bus in Nashville could soon cost more.
Strapped by increasing employee health care and diesel fuel costs, Metro Transit Authority officials are considering enacting a 10-cent hike on basic bus rates. The bump would increase fares from $1.60 to $1.70, according to an MTA press release issued Friday.
In addition, MTA officials are exploring a 20-cent increase in the AccessRide cash fare from $3.20 to $3.40.
“It’s not exactly a crisis right now,” MTA spokeswoman Patricia Harris-Morehead told The City Paper. “But, we are hoping to add additional services ... It’s getting more and more challenging to balance the budget.”
Nashvillians have an opportunity to weigh in on the proposed far changes at four different public hearings.
Potential changes –– which also include price increases to purchase multi-ride fare cards –– would require MTA board approval. Children could see a price deduction: Under the proposal, MTA’s youth fare would decrease from $1.05 to $1.
(Click here  for a link to a MTA chart comparing current and proposed fares.)
Meanwhile, a separate transit entity –– the Regional Transit Authority –– is weighing a 50-cent hike, raising its fares from $3.50 to $4. Under the plan, the RTA’s price of 20-ride Relax & Ride Express Plus prices would increase from $60 to $70.
The RTA also is considering additional service on Route 91X Franklin/Brentwood Express and Route 95X Spring Hill Express.
Four public hearings are scheduled early next week to solicit community feedback on the proposals. All meetings will take place at the downtown Music City Central on Charlotte Avenue.
On Monday, Nov. 14, public hearings are set for 7 to 9 a.m., and 3 to 5 p.m.
On Tuesday, Nov. 15, public hearings are scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.