Fare Increases Q & A

  1. Why are there bus service cuts?
  2. If my bus routes starts outside Phoenix and travels into Phoenix, will my bus route be impacted?
  3. What routes will be impacted?
  4. When will the bus service cuts be made?
  5. Will Saturday and Sunday service be impacted?
  6. Will RAPID be impacted?
  7. Will METRO schedules be impacted?
  8. When will I be able to see the new schedules?
  9. Why weren’t public hearings held about this?
  10. What can we expect in the future?
  11. What is the difference between Phoenix Public Transit and Valley Metro?
  12. I have heard there may be fare increases. Is that true?
  13. Will I need to have my ADA certification renewed immediately?
  14. What are the steps in the new process?
  15. What are the advantages of the new process?
  16. What is a Valley Metro Transportation Case Manager?
  17. Where will the interviews and functional assessments be located?
  18. Who is going to do the assessment?
  19. Can someone attend the interview with me?
  20. I don’t appear to be disabled. How do I know I will be treated fairly?
  21. How does this benefit me?
  22. How do I get started?
  23. Do I need to “prove” that I have a disability?
  24. If I don’t agree with the decision regarding my eligibility, can I appeal?
  25. What is the cost?
  26. What is the future ADA bus and rail pass?
  27. How is the future ADA bus and rail pass different from the City of Phoenix Dial-a-Ride pass?
  28. When are these changes going into effect?
  29. How can I comment?
  30. General FAQs publish?
  31. Why are fares increasing?
  32. When are the fares increasing?
  33. When was the last fare increase?
  34. Are my passes still valid if I purchased them before March 1, 2013?
  35. Are there any changes to pass options?
  36. What is the proposed increase to the Express/RAPID fare?
  37. Why is the Express/RAPID fare increasing more than the local service?
  38. Can a local pass be used to ride Express/RAPID?
  39. Have alternatives to fare increases been considered?
  40. Is transit funded primarily by passenger fares?
  41. Are Dial-a-Ride fares increasing?
  42. What areas are the ADA Dial-a-Ride fares are not changing?
  43. Will the cost of the ASU U-Pass increase?
  44. Will the Platinum Pass from my employer be affected by the fare increase?
  45. Will the cost of the Semester Pass increase?
  46. Is my Rural Route 685 fare changing?
  47. What are the best options in purchasing fares?
  48. Why have fares increased?
  49. When was the last fare increase?
  50. Are there new pass amounts?
  51. What are the best options in purchasing passes?
  52. Is my current pass purchased before March 1 still valid?
  53. Were alternatives to increased fares considered?
  54. Why is the Express/RAPID fare increasing more than the local service?
  55. Is transit funded primarily by passenger fares?
  56. Why wouldn’t recent cuts in service help to avoid the fare increase?
  57. Are Dial-a-Ride fares increasing?
  58. What areas are the ADA Dial-a-Ride fares are not changing?
  59. Will the cost of the ASU U-Pass increase?
  60. Will the Platinum Pass from my employer be affected by the fare increase?
  61. Will the cost of the Semester Pass increase?
  62. Is my Rural Route 685 fare changing?
  1. Why are there bus service cuts?

    Valley Metro is funded mostly by sales taxes from individual cities and towns, as well as a countywide sales tax.  Due to the recent downturn in the economy, budgets funded by various sales taxes have shrunk due to rapidly declining revenues.  To help reduce expenses, it is necessary for the city of Phoenix to cut some bus service that operates within the city. These cuts will save the city $7.4 million over the next 18 months. The cuts are being made during times that will affect as few passengers as possible, about 2% of riders.

  2. If my bus routes starts outside Phoenix and travels into Phoenix, will my bus route be impacted?

    Possibly, but you need to check the schedules to be sure what time your route makes its first pick up in Phoenix.  If it is after 5 a.m. or before 10 p.m., you should be okay unless your city also decides to make cuts.

  3. What routes will be impacted?

    If your usual route has trips that begin their first pick up in the city of Phoenix before 5 a.m. or after 10 p.m., your route will very likely be affected. To plan your new trip, please check the December Transit Book for schedule details or go on-line at http://www.ValleyMetro.org  Thes.e changes should be available on-line in early December.

  4. When will the bus service cuts be made?

    On December 29, 2008, cuts will be made to all Monday through Friday bus trips that travel within Phoenix before 5 a.m. and after 10 p.m.  Also, on that day, the Red Line will be replaced by METRO train service, the Blue Line will stop at Camelback and Central, and Route 15-15th Avenue will be extended to serve Metrocenter and Sky Harbor

  5. Will Saturday and Sunday service be impacted?

    On all city of Phoenix bus routes, the Saturday service will be adjusted to operate on the same schedule as Sunday does now.

  6. Will RAPID be impacted?

    Yes, RAPID I-17 and SR-51 will have minor adjustments to their operations.  That information will be available in December along with the other bus service changes.

  7. Will METRO schedules be impacted?

    METRO schedules will not be affected. Light rail passengers should check the Transit Book or the website if they need to make a connection between bus and light rail after 10 p.m. or before 5 a.m.

  8. When will I be able to see the new schedules?

    You can find the revised schedules, effective December 29, online in early December and in the new Transit Book (formerly the Bus Book) available December 22 at all transit centers and city libraries.

  9. Why weren’t public hearings held about this?

    Overall, the changes were relatively minor. Phoenix holds public hearings and goes to Phoenix City Council only when a bus route is cut 25% or more.  Service cuts that don’t exceed this 25% threshold are taken directly through the Phoenix City Council process, which does include comments from the public at their meetings.

  10. What can we expect in the future?

    Public hearings are planned in early 2009 to gather input from the Valley residents.  More service cuts may be made in July 2009.  Information will be available when Phoenix finalizes its public budget hearings.

  11. What is the difference between Phoenix Public Transit and Valley Metro?

    Phoenix Public Transit department operates its bus service under the Valley Metro brand name and carries about 161,000 daily boardings, or about 70% of all bus riders in the Valley.

  12. I have heard there may be fare increases. Is that true?

    It appears likely. Regional policy requires that fares cover at least 25% of the cost of bus operations. Due to a decline in consumer spending, which has impacted our major sources of revenue, along with increases in operational costs, we are not able to meet the 25% target.

  13. Will I need to have my ADA certification renewed immediately?

    No, not until your current ADA certification expires.

  14. What are the steps in the new process?

    The steps are as follows:
    1. The customer completes an ADA application and mails it into the ADA Certification office.
    2. Valley Metro staff reviews the application and will contact the customer to schedule an interview.
    3. Interviews, which are kept confidential, will be conducted by a Valley Metro Transportation Case Manager.
    3. Some customers may be referred to functional assessment, if needed. The functional assessment helps determine if the customer is able to use the bus and/or light rail system.
    4. Based on the results of the information obtained from the interview, assessment (if needed) and/or professional verification for ADA service eligibility will be determined as one of the following:
    -Unconditional or “full” eligibility (customer needs to use ADA Dial-a-Ride for all trips)
    -Conditional eligibility (customer needs to use ADA Dial-a-Ride for some trips but can use local City bus service or light rail for other trips)
    -Temporary eligibility (customer needs to use ADA Dial-a-Ride for a limited amount of time based upon expected duration of disability or limitation)
    -Not ADA eligible (customer can use local bus and rail service for all trips)

  15. What are the advantages of the new process?

    -Increase standard eligibility from 3 years to 5 years.
    -Lifetime eligibility for those who qualify based on needing to use ADA Dial-a-Ride for all trips.
    -Offer a free bus and rail pass to ADA eligible persons that are able to ride local bus or rail service. 
    -Referral to other transportation options and/or services (e.g. taxi subsidy, mileage reimbursement and/or travel training).

  16. What is a Valley Metro Transportation Case Manager?

    Each customer will be provided with a Valley Metro Transportation Case Manager who reviews the customer’s application and conducts a confidential interview. The Case Manager will provide assistance in navigating the process, and can provide information and referrals for additional transportation options and services.

  17. Where will the interviews and functional assessments be located?

    Assessment will be conducted in the same vicinity as the interviews. If needed, transportation to and from the interview site will be provided at no expense to the applicant.  Trip to interview site will also be provided without having to transfer between cities.

  18. Who is going to do the assessment?

    Each customer’s Transportation Case Manager will conduct that customer’s interview. If a customer is referred for further assessments, those will be conducted by highly qualified rehabilitation professionals who specialize in the needed type of assessment. A customer will only be asked to participate in assessments as needed. This will help Valley Metro better understand the customer’s ability to take trips on the local bus and rail systems.

  19. Can someone attend the interview with me?

    Yes.  Any customer can have someone with them during the interview.

  20. I don’t appear to be disabled. How do I know I will be treated fairly?

    The current process requires Valley Metro to make decisions about each customer based only on written information. The proposed interview process gives each customer an opportunity to better explain his or her individual circumstances and abilities. In addition, various mobility assessments can be administered to aid in the determination process.

  21. How does this benefit me?

    It provides better accessibility and resources for the certification process and for the customer. Customers can also benefit from learning about any travel training or programs such as taxi subsidy or mileage reimbursement , which leads to a higher level of mobility and independence.

  22. How do I get started?

    Just like it is done today, you will begin with an application.  Mail the completed application to Valley Metro. Valley Metro staff will review the application and contact you to schedule an interview. Valley Metro will also arrange for free transportation, if needed. Interviews will last no more than one hour.  A Valley Metro Transportation Case Manager will conduct the interview and, when applicable, refer some applicants for further assessment. At the time of the interview, Valley Metro staff will also take your photo that will be printed on the ADA bus and rail pass.

  23. Do I need to “prove” that I have a disability?

    The ADA eligibility process is not a determination of whether or not a person has a disability. It is an assessment of a customer’s ability to use the local transit system.

  24. If I don’t agree with the decision regarding my eligibility, can I appeal?

    Yes. The current Valley Metro ADA eligibility process includes an appeals process, which has an appeals panel that includes people with disabilities. This same appeals process will remain in effect.

  25. What is the cost?

    There is no cost to the customer associated with this proposed process.

  26. What is the future ADA bus and rail pass?

    The proposed and future ADA bus (good on local, express and RAPID) and rail pass will have the recipient’s photo printed on it and will enable the customer to take unlimited rides on Valley Metro buses and on METRO light rail. This pass will be issued at no cost to those customers who are able to use it. For those who can use it, the consistency and frequency of bus and rail schedules offers greater independence and more mobility options. To help more customers benefit from this pass, Valley Metro will help customers identify travel training programs suited to their needs. Travel training programs would assist the passenger in learning how to use bus and rail. The future pass will be renewed annually as a means of updating customer contact information. Renewal of the pass will not affect a customer’s ADA paratransit eligibility status.

  27. How is the future ADA bus and rail pass different from the City of Phoenix Dial-a-Ride pass?

    The City of Phoenix currently offers a monthly Dial-a-Ride pass for Phoenix residents only. The pass can be used for unlimited rides on Phoenix Dial-a-Ride and can also be used on bus and light rail. This pass must be purchased each month by the customer. The proposed and future ADA bus and rail pass would be offered Valley-wide at no cost to the customer. It can be used ONLY on Valley Metro buses and on METRO light rail. When using Dial-a-Ride service, customers will still need to pay the applicable fare.

  28. When are these changes going into effect?

    A final proposal will be brought to the Valley Metro Board of Directors in the next few months. If they approve the proposal, it will take about six months to develop and put a program in place. Customers will only be asked to participate in the new process upon the expiration of their current certification.

  29. How can I comment?

    We are accepting public comments through April 17, 2009.
    1. You may send email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    2. You may send by U.S. mail to:
          Attn: Nichole Myers, Valley Metro RPTA, 302 N. 1st Ave., Suite 700, Phoenix, AZ 85003
    3. You may leave your comment with customer service by calling 602-253-5000.

  30. General FAQs publish?

    Add answer here. Just remember to select the category or this will not show.

  31. Why are fares increasing?

    Fare changes are necessary to preserve service and are planned to occur regularly. The cost of transit operations continues to rise and fare revenue must keep pace.

  32. When are the fares increasing?

    March 1, 2013.

  33. When was the last fare increase?

    July 1, 2009; the previous fare increase was in 1995.

  34. Are my passes still valid if I purchased them before March 1, 2013?

    Yes. Valid fare purchased prior to March 1 do not need to be upgraded or need to be exchanged.

  35. Are there any changes to pass options?

    Yes, the new 15-day pass is an option to the 31-day pass. It can be used for 15 consecutive days once validated. Also note that the 3-day pass is longer be available effective Feb. 28, 2013. The 15-day pass became available on March 1.

  36. What is the proposed increase to the Express/RAPID fare?

    A single ride on Express/RAPID would increase by $.50 to $3.25. All Express/RAPID fares will adjust accordingly.

  37. Why is the Express/RAPID fare increasing more than the local service?

    This adjustment in fares will spread the cost of providing service more equitably among all transit riders. In the current fare structure, local riders support a greater percentage of the cost of operations.

  38. Can a local pass be used to ride Express/RAPID?

    Yes. Riders with a Local Pass can pay an additional $1.25 per trip. Riders with a Reduced Pass would pay an additional $2.25 per trip. Students with a Semester Full Fare Pass would pay an additional $1.65 per trip or $2.45 for the Reduced Fare Pass.

  39. Have alternatives to fare increases been considered?

    Yes. Valley Metro makes an ongoing effort to streamline transit service and reduce overhead costs, however, fare increases are necessary to preserve service.

  40. Is transit funded primarily by passenger fares?

    No, transit is primarily funded by local sales taxes. Passenger fares fund about 25 percent of bus and light rail operations costs.

  41. Are Dial-a-Ride fares increasing?

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) fares must keep pace with the bus and light rail fares, therefore the ADA Dial-a-Ride fare will increase from $3.50 to $4.00. Pricing for this service is two times the 1-Ride fare. Increases will occur on various Dial-A-Ride systems including the East Valley, Northwest Valley (Sun City and Youngtown), Southwest Valley (Avondale, Goodyear and Tolleson) and Phoenix.

  42. What areas are the ADA Dial-a-Ride fares are not changing?

    At this time, Dial-a-Ride fares are not increasing in: Glendale, Maricopa County, some parts of Peoria and Surprise.

  43. Will the cost of the ASU U-Pass increase?

    ASU will experience a fare increase in March 2013. ASU will determine the cost of the U-Pass for students and the cost of the Platinum Pass for faculty and staff.

  44. Will the Platinum Pass from my employer be affected by the fare increase?

    Employer will experience a fare increase on March 1, 2013. Your employer will determine the cost of the Platinum Pass to the employee.

  45. Will the cost of the Semester Pass increase?

    Yes, please see the information below. The fare increase will be effective with the summer 2013 Semester Pass, starting May 16, 2013.

    Fare Type Current New
    Fall/Spring Semester Full Fare* $195.00 $230
    Fall/Spring Semester Reduced Fare** $97.50 $115.00
    Summer Semester Full Fare* $120.00 $154.00
    Summer Semester Reduced Fare $60.00 $77.00

    * A full fare Semester pass used on RAPID/Express service will require an additional payment of $1.65 at the farebox.
    ** A Reduced fare Semester pass used on RAPID/Express service will require an additional $2.45 paid at the farebox.

  46. Is my Rural Route 685 fare changing?

    Yes. The distance based fare will change to a single, flat fare of $4.00 per one-way trip.

  47. What are the best options in purchasing fares?

    Bus riders can save money and time by purchasing fares in advance. Passes are available at all METRO fare vending machines, transit centers and retail locations including 7-Eleven, Circle K, Fry’s Food Stores, PLS Check Cashers, Safeway, Corner Store and Walgreens. For a location nearest you, go to ValleyMetro.org or call 602.253.5000. You can also order transit fares online at ValleyMetro.org.

  48. Why have fares increased?

    Increases in fares are necessary to preserve service with operations costs increasing at about three to four percent each year.

  49. When was the last fare increase?

    The last fare increase for the regional transit system occurred in 2009 and prior to that was in 1995.

  50. Are there new pass amounts?

    Yes, the new 15-day pass is an option to the 31-day pass. It can be used for 15 consecutive days once validated. Also note that the 3-day pass will no longer be available after Feb. 28, 2013.

  51. What are the best options in purchasing passes?

    Bus riders can save money and time by purchasing fares in advance. Passes are available at all light rail platform fare vending machines, select LINK bus stations, transit centers and retail locations including 7-Eleven, Circle K, Fry’s Food Stores, PLS Check Cashers, Safeway, Corner Store and Walgreens. For a location nearest you, go to ValleyMetro.org or call 602.253.5000. You can also order transit fares online at ValleyMetro.org.

  52. Is my current pass purchased before March 1 still valid?

    Existing passes purchased prior to March 1 are valid.

  53. Were alternatives to increased fares considered?

    Yes. Valley Metro makes an ongoing effort to streamline transit service and reduce overhead costs, however, fare increases are necessary to preserve service.

  54. Why is the Express/RAPID fare increasing more than the local service?

    This adjustment to Express/RAPID fares will spread the cost of providing service more equitably among all transit riders. In the current fare structure, local riders support a greater percentage of the cost of operations.

  55. Is transit funded primarily by passenger fares?

    No, transit is primarily funded by local sales taxes. Passenger fares fund about 25 percent of bus and light rail operations costs.

  56. Why wouldn’t recent cuts in service help to avoid the fare increase?

    Due to a challenging economy, transit service has not had the anticipated revenues from sales taxes, which is the primary funding source for operations. Fare increases and service reductions are occurring across the country; a shortfall in revenue is not unique to Valley Metro nor the region.  Eighty percent of transit agencies across the country have either increased fares, cut service or both in recent years.

  57. Are Dial-a-Ride fares increasing?

    Increases will occur on various Dial-a-Ride systems including the East Valley, , Southwest Valley (Avondale, Goodyear and Tolleson) and Phoenix. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) fares must keep pace with the bus and light rail fares, therefore the ADA Dial-a-Ride fare will increase from $3.50 to $4.00. Pricing for this service is two times the 1-Ride bus fare.

  58. What areas are the ADA Dial-a-Ride fares are not changing?

    At this time, Dial-a-Ride fares are not increasing in: Glendale, Maricopa County, some parts of Peoria, Sun City and Surprise.

  59. Will the cost of the ASU U-Pass increase?

    ASU will experience a fare increase in March and will determine the cost of the U-Pass for students and Platinum Pass for faculty and staff.

  60. Will the Platinum Pass from my employer be affected by the fare increase?

    Employers will experience a fare increase in March 2013. Each employer will determine the cost of the Platinum Pass to the employee.

  61. Will the cost of the Semester Pass increase?

    Yes, please see the information below. The fare increase will be effective with the summer 2013 Semester Pass, starting May 16, 2013.

    Fare Type Current New
    Fall/Spring Semester Full Fare* $195.00 $230.00
    Fall/Spring Semester Reduced Fare** $97.50 $115.00
    Summer Semester Full Fare* $120.00 $154.00
    Summer Semester Reduced Fare $60.00 $77.00

    *A full fare Semester pass used on RAPID/Express service will require an additional payment of $1.65 at the farebox.

    **A Reduced fare Semester pass used on RAPID/Express service will require an additional $2.45 paid at the farebox.

  62. Is my Rural Route 685 fare changing?

    Yes. The distance based fare will change to a single, flat fare of $4.00 per one-way trip.

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