Metro wants TAP to work, right? Well, the point of TAP from Metro's standpoint is to speed up boarding on buses and trains, and to reduce the amount of cash Metro has to handle, from what I can tell. But it could also make for a much fairer fare system. Each trip, for 2 or 3 hours, should include free transfers, because transfers are no benefit for riders! We would all prefer a direct bus trip or a train to our destination, if possible. Besides, buying a transfer is a pain.
Instead of raising fares overall (which would be okay for a start), make fares based on distance, like on BART, DC Metro, or any Asian or European bus/rail system. You would tap "in" on the first bus or train, and "out" at the last stop. A one-mile trip could be $1, while Long Beach to Sylmar could be $10 (encouraging people to use Metrolink, instead of the expensive-to-operate buses). If you spent enough, you would automatically upgrade to a week or month pass, without having to decide in advance if you would need one.
The current payment system is slow, unfair for short trips with transfers, and outdated. If we are spending millions on TAP, let's use it to improve transit and save money.
these results seem consistent with the web-savvy, likely higher-income riders taking your poll, versus the preferences of the majority of riders with lower income levels and lacking the time to read transit blogs and vote on polls since they are spending such a larger portion of their day commuting. I like your survey; i'm just suggesting that you consider this when evaluating results within the planning department.
Thank you Tobias! Robb, you have a point, but I think that the "75 cent" transfer plan assumes a concurrent undefined overall rate increase. But I think your real point may be that having the somewhat meaningless differentiation between a "75 cent" plan and a "$1 higher base fare plan" splits the vote. In other words, the real news is that, so far, almost 3/4 of the people surveyed want transfers! Including me!!!!!!!!!!!
Ok, in response to the above comments, I'd just like to point out that this poll is about almost none of those things. This is a question about fare structure, people! Not about the rates for seniors, or general railing (no pun intended) about Metro. (Also, the senior rates aren't scheduled to go up for several years anyway)
That being said, group rates are still possible, even with fare gates, since all the stations still have ticket machines. Anything is possible with a ticket machine. The machine could prompt one person to pay, then have each member of the group TAP. A group rate is actually not a bad idea, if it were done right.
As for distance-based fares, I'm against that for 2 reasons. Reason #1 is that I happen to use Metro for long-distance trips and don't want to have to pay more, but that's just me whining =). A better reason is that the goal for the immediate future should be to incentivise ridership, while distance-based fare doesn't do that. If ridership encompassed most of the city like it does in places like Boston and New York, then distance-based fares would be a great way to increase revenue and encourage people to live closer to their workplaces, but LA, paying the same 1.25 for long rides keeps those painfully-long commutes attractive to new riders.
Fares will never vary by location. That works with gas, because individual stores can charge what they need to make a profit but still stay competitive. The free market doesn't even make sense to talk about when you have a single county-wide service where fares recover less than 20% of operations costs. For Metro to be competitive with alternatives, rates should be lowered. For Metro to make a profit, they'd have to quentuple fares! Supply and demand are meaningless, so to have fares vary by location, someone would have to just decide who pays more. Environmental justice issue, anyone? Besides, if we raised fares on the rich, they would just continue not-riding. Not particularly helpful.
As for your hollywood situation, I'm sorry it works out that way, but hey, at least the subway riders get to beat the unbearable Hollywood/Highland traffic! (Think Hollywood Bowl night)
Maybe I'm a little confused by this poll, but people don't seem to be using logic here... Why would so many people pick a $1 increase whether you transfer or not over a $0.75 increase that's only applicable if you actually need a transfer?
JEG is spot on! This is exactly what I was planning to write.
Yet I'll elaborate (briefly) on my situation. I live in Pasadena. I enjoy going in to Hollywood (Hollywood/Highland) occasionally with my family. I don't mind driving but my sons enjoy the idea of taking the train. 'Sounds good to me too—save some gas, energy, etc. However, our next trip to the El Capitan Theater will be by car.
The reason is simple: free parking at Hollywood/Highland. Roundtrip gas = $3.00
Pasadena Gold Line transfer to Red Line to Hollywood = $2.50 / Roundtrip = $5.00. Family of 4 x $5.00 = $20.00.
Public transportation = 6.5 times more expensive than driving! Bummer! I've got this image of public transportation as being a cheap alternative. In many cases: not true!
I would not raise rates for seniors and handicapped. All others is a different story.
I would think, however, that certain neighborhoods may be able to afford higher rates than other neighborhoods, and they may be able to absorb more fees.
Yes, transit is a commodity, but so is gas, and the price varies depending upon where you buy it.
Metro needs to think about riders who are traveling in groups. A $2 fare may not seem like much for an individual rider, but for a family or group of 4 traveling together, that's $2 x 4 people x 2 trips= $16! That's a lot for a single round trip. If you have a car, those kinds of fares are not going to be worthwhile.
Metro should keep its fares low or introduce some way for groups to pay a lower fare when they're traveling together (this is not uncommon in Europe). Unfortunately, Metro's new, unnecessary, and outlandishly expensive faregate system will make group fare more difficult to implement.
The fare structure should stay the same for those of us that are handicapped, but every time there is an increase of rates or fares, MTA always picks on the ones that have a very limited income by raising the fare to where we have to make decisions of whether to be able to eat or go to our scheduled doctors' appointments. All I know is that I have talked with a lot of seniors and disabled riders and if the rates are increased again for us, we won't be able to get to our appointments or run the necessary errands for living on a monthly payment. If we can't get to our appointments for doctors or social security administration, then we end up losing that money. Think about all the riders that you will end up losing by raising the senior/disabled fare again. I can remember paying $4 for a monthly bus pass, but since MTA has taken over, you seem to be fixated on eliminating lines and picking on the main people that you provide services for. Not very smart for business. Your riders in the other larger cities may not mind paying a higher fare, but with skyrocketing prices with everything else, but a lot of the riders that I have talked with would rather drive their own vehicles than pay higher prices to ride Metro.
How about a fare structure like Metrolink's. Pay for the distance you want to go.