Keep track of how much money you have on your Metro card. As of Sunday, the transit agency hiked its rates in an effort to close a budget gap.
Thursday night the Metro Board of Directors approved the increase, the largest ever in the system’s history.
Rail fares have gone up 18 percent and bus fares have increased by 20 percent.
Here’s a breakdown:
- Peak rates have increased from $1.65 to $1.95 for SmarTrip users. Non-rush hour rates have gone from $1.35 to $1.60.
- For bus riders there is be a 25-cent increase for SmarTrip users to $1.50 and a 35-cent increase for cash users to $1.70.
But don't worry about memorizing the new rates, because the new fares will not stay the same for long. Unfortunately, it will be bumped up again come Aug. 1, causing riders to dig even deeper into their pockets.
Phase two will take effect on Aug. and raise “peak-of-the peak” rates in both the morning and evening an additional 20 cents.
"This budget relies heavily on our customers as a means of satisfying a $189 million deficit," said Metro board member Catherine Hudgins to The Examiner.
The fare increases will affect all customers -- paratransit riders, senior citizens, off-peak riders, on-peak riders, riders with blue hair and even riders with no hair -- leaving many searching under their couch cushions for the extra change it will take to ride the Metro.