The MARTA board of directors approved the fiscal year 2012 budget, today, which will increase the base fare from $2 to $2.50.
“This has been a very difficult decision for the Board because, as a service based industry, we do not want to make changes that have a negative impact on our customers,” said MARTA Board Chairman Jim Durrett, in a press statement. “Unfortunately, the economic downturn has taken its toll on MARTA’s finances, and with the cost of doing business continuing to go up, a fare increase is required in order to maintain current bus and rail service levels for our customers.”
The operating budget of $413.76 million, and capital budget totaling $185.5 million and $143.7 million in debt service also includes service enhancements.
Last month, public hearings were held in Sandy Springs and other communities on the proposed budget.
In addition to the base fare increase, the cost of a weekly pass will be raised to $23.75 from $17. A monthly pass will be $95 from the current $68. The Mobility Base fare will increase to $3.80 from $3.60. The Monthly Mobility Pass goes to $122 from $115.
Fare increases will take effect on Oct. 2.
An earlier MARTA statement said the increases would prevent future tax cuts and ensure metro Atlanta’s prospects for regional transit in the future.
Last week, Mayor Eva Galambos expressed discouragement on a regional transit system during an appearance before the Sandy Springs Planning Commission.
She said North Fulton mayors have learned that the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority will direct transit dollars towards the Beltway and not a regional system.
“We were not happy. So we are hoping there will be a re-direction,” she said.