In the fall, Cieslewicz proposed raising Metro Transit cash fares 50 cents to $2 and making related increases for ticket packages and passes to raise at least $680,000 in nine months next year to improve service, add security at transfer points, boost marketing, build a reserve and cover shortfalls.Service cuts, my rear! Cieslewicz is right about the no-political advantage thing, but I doubt he's got his trimming shears out.
The council last month voted 12-8 to support the proposal in the 2009 budget.
"There's no political advantage to me to raise fares," Cieslewicz said, adding that he and 12 council members want to do so because "it's the best thing to do for Metro in the long-run."
But from the start, many riders opposed the increase and TPC members voiced concern that a fare hike would hurt low-income families and curb ridership. Now, Cieslewicz wants the Metro staff to prepare a list of service cuts for consideration at the TPC's next meeting, and respond to an alternative analysis on the impact of a fare increase presented at Tuesday's meeting by TPC member and Ald. Brian Solomon.
The alternative analysis, based on American Public Transit Association research, said the fare increase might produce far less revenue and hurt ridership more than the Metro staff projected.
But the mayor said the TPC's decision was at least partly based on "very thin data brought in at the last minute." He also sent a memo about his intentions to council members.
Those poor curb riders.