Interesting how just after we hear the news that metros will run more frequently in the hours around rush hour (though not during rush hour when they run pretty well at capacity), we get the first hints that transit fares may go up again for the 11th straight year.
In 1997-1998, the last time fees didn’t go up, a regular monthly pass was $45 ($19 for reduced fare) and a single adult fare was $1.85. That puts today’s prices into perspective.
The problem, of course, doesn’t lie with the transit authority (or its 90% unionized workforce) but with the government, which is forcing the users of public transit to fund its operation to an increasing extent. In 1990, users were funding 42.5% of the STM’s revenues, now that number is above 50% (though not as high as the 58% of 2001).
How much the government should be funding public transit operations is a matter of personal opinion. If you think we should be paying all the basic operating costs, expect to pay $130 a month on transit passes, or up to $400 a month if you live in the suburbs. If you think it should be free, well you’re not going to be happy with this news.