By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—It hasn’t happened in eight years, but now the cost of getting around on the MTA will increase.

Mike Schuh reports when it will go up and by how much is not yet set. What is certain is the legislature is demanding that the riders share more of the costs.

Right now MTA riders contribute 28 cents to every dollar it takes to run MTA. But legislators want fares to catch up with expenses. They want ticket sales to account for 35 cents of every dollar—a 40-50 cent increase, pushing costs to about $2 a ride.

WJZ took a ride on bus 13, which goes the length of North Avenue. For 50 cents more, that sounds like a rough ride to some.

Sheila Taylor takes four bus rides.

“The 44 to the 36 to the 13,” she said.

She takes more than an hour to get to work.

“I don’t have it, and I don’t know where I’m going to get it either,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s costs per week could go up $5 or more.  

“What about me? $5 a week is a lot for me because I don’t work full-time,” she said.

Some are OK with the increase, that is if MTA continues to invest in new buses.

“Like say this particular bus right here,” said a MTA rider. “These buses are really nice to ride in. They really are. I don’t oppose the 50 cent hike.”

But the bottom line is most people don’t have any other options.

“It’s a necessity. As long as they keep the service up,” said a man.

“You can’t change it. There’s nothing you can do about it,” said another rider.

You either pay or you don’t ride.

Last year, rural and Republican legislators tried to push through bills requiring 50 percent of operating costs come from riders. This year, there is more widespread support for meeting a 35 percent goal.

The governor’s office has indicated that any increases would be delayed.

Comments (13)
  1. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    Silly as it may sound but these increases along with the countless other maniacal increase from the State of Maryland’s legislators, (snicker) they will & could undoubtedly push people into poverty further & cause hardships for many on limited fixed incomes. Seniors property taxes should be fixed, rides on Metro should be half at least. Where in the hell is the consideration for those that built this city for years & maintained it..Remember, you will be there one day if you live long enough.

  2. susan says:

    More money in a unreliable service is just another nail in the coffin for the public who can not afford it.. Why should we pay more when the drivers just fly by their stops like we are not there? All they want to do is line their pockets and HECK with the rest of us.

  3. Cheryl Brown says:

    I wish the increase was worth it. They have already cut lines that helped numerous people get to a better job. Alot of those lost their jobs due to this (wow so much for the clean air act & pulling yourself up by your bootstraps). On top of that MOST are overcrowded and filthy not to mention no real times. After 6pm (everyone can’t work 9 – 5) the center is closed and the drivers make their own schedules.

  4. kass says:

    i’d rather walk 40 minutes than pay mta another dime to get to work. $3.20 a day for the following that never gets fixed: roaches, derogatory language, children acting like gang bangers, unsafe bus stops, and a system that never runs on time/ just doesn’t show up. yeah, its spring. i think i’ll walk.

  5. lee says:

    more taxes, more increases , the deficit has arrived

  6. Doug says:

    You couldn’t drag me on one of those MTA buses .
    Gangs and rude ,people of strange order,
    have taken them over.
    I ‘ll swim first.
    Or flap my wings.

    1. Ryan says:

      DOug MTA isn’t as bad as you make it seem. Yes some drivers have attitudes and yes you have a few people who act like they don’t have any sense but its not as bad as you make it sound. Personally I think that as long as they are adding new buses to replace the old ones and adding more metro routes and light rail lines then it isn’t a bad Idea. Besides it was bound to happen so I guess we have to go with the flow of things.

  7. ms hunter says:

    The increase is an outrage. People are struggling as is & u want to raise the price. Pennies may not be much to some but for people of poverty its a major issue. I think it is so unfair. Its like you cant win. they raise the gas prices & the bus prices.

  8. roe says:

    It wooould be nice if the MTA ran on a 24 hour schedule like Los Vegas does. You pay one fare and can ride allday and night. That way you don’t have to worry about getting to the subway before it closes or try to figure out what button to push when you need directions to go some where. In Vegas the fare was reasonable to ride the bus and the drivers were very friendly.

    1. marylandbrowngirl says:

      You can get a day pass in Maryland for $3.50 – unlimited rides all day.

  9. Free2speak2 says:

    I agree with Kass!

  10. MetroRider says:

    I ride the metro on a consistent basis to work. I am fortunate to have a good-paying job and do not mind the increase in the fare, but the service should improve right along with it. The MTA employees working in the booths at the metro stations are very unhappy and rude people. They are really bad for tourism because out-of-towners trying to find their way around town using public transportation encounter these miserable people who are condescending and unhelpful. There are some wonderful metro drivers– don’t get me wrong. But, the general culture of MTA metro employees working the booths is negative. Also, something has got to be done about the unruly kids– yelling, cussing, climbing over furniture, writing all over the seats.

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