In an effort to make transfers easier between types of bus service, Capital Metro is reducing the cost of its MetroRapid bus fare starting Sunday, Jan. 8.
The fare for MetroRapid and Flyer bus routes will now be $1.25, the same price charged for a single ride on a local bus route. Previously passengers had to pay $1.75 per trip. Capital Metro is keeping its Commuter fare charged on MetroRail and Express bus routes, which is $3.50 per single ride.
The fare change was proposed by consultant Transportation Management & Design Inc., which was hired in late 2015 to aid the agency in updating its service plan called Connections 2025.
Todd Hemingson, Capital Metro’s vice president of strategic planning and development previously told Community Impact Newspaper that the agency would be able to maximize ridership on MetroRapid even with a lower fare. This is because the service is faster than local buses, and some MetroRapid buses are larger and can carry more passengers, he said.
“We’re really trying to focus on the network aspect of it so that all of the different pieces work as a system and that it’s easy and convenient for people to make connections between routes,” Hemingson said. “Whereas before, we heard from customers that was a hindrance to working MetroRapid and the local [buses] as one system because they had different fares.”
Capital Metro delayed making changes to its Express bus routes—serving Leander, Lakeline and Northwest Austin—because of delays with construction of the MoPac express lanes. The agency anticipates making route changes later in 2017 when the express lanes open.
Capital Metro’s board is also considering other changes to its service network, including route cuts, realignments and faster service. The board will host another work session Monday, Jan. 9 at noon at the Capital Metro headquarters located at 2910 E. Fifth St., Austin.
Approval of the final Connections 2025 service plan is expected during the board’s regular meeting Jan. 23 at noon.