Transportation
11:48 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Why Miami-Dade County Is Raising Transit Fares

Miami-Dade bus and Metrorail commuters will soon have to pay 25 cents more to catch a ride.

The county transit system is increasing its fares for the first time in five years to help offset operating costs. The fare for a one-way trip on Metrobus or Metrorail is increasing from $2 to $2.25, effective October 1. The Metromover will remain free for all users.  

Jason Nicholson, 31, of South Beach (above with skateboard), said the 25-cent fare increase won't change his use of the 'long distance car,' his nickname for the bus.
Credit Rachel Morello

Waiting at the Omni bus station in downtown Miami, rider Jason Nicholson, 31, of South Beach, called the bus his "long-distance car.” He said although the increase will add up over time, he’ll keep taking the bus.

“I think $2 is pretty fair,” Nicholson said. “As far as the extra 25 cents, you’re not going to see too much of a difference in your pocket.”

Jazmyne Tucker, 22, from North Miami, relies on the bus to avoid the hassle of parking her car -- but she said the extra fare isn’t worth it.

“How can they increase the costs if the conditions are so bad?” Tucker said. “You’re kind of being robbed. $2.25 and the bus is horrible. You might as well just walk there.”

The fare increase is needed to defray the costs of operating the buses, trains and Metromover, said Karla Damian of the Miami-Dade County Transit System. The increase will also help keep stations, tracks and other equipment running safely and efficiently, she said.

Damian points out that the new fare will still be less than other major cities.

“Some major cities even charge a little more for some of their service - Atlanta, $2.50, Dallas, $2.50,” Damian said. “Compared to other agencies, we’re relatively up to par.”

Despite rumors of Metrobus and Metrorail cutting service, Damian said that won’t happen.

She added that the price change will not affect holders of the Golden Passport for senior citizens and the Patriot Passport for veterans, who can still ride free-of-charge. For the disabled, the cost of door-to-door service, or Special Transportation Service (STS) trips, will increase 50 cents to $3.50. Bus and Metrorail remain free-of-charge when patrons use their STS EasyCards.

All one-day, seven-day and monthly passes purchased before October 1 will remain valid.