Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The end of $2.00 for a monthly pass

Today is the end of June which for most people means that the year is halfway through, but for those transit riders out there it means the start of a new fiscal year and LOTS of changes. Tomorrow LA Metro will increase the base fare by $.25 to $1.50 and the monthly pass will go from $62.00 to $75.00! I am lucky that my employer pays for $60 towards my transit costs in lieu of paying that same amount for parking. The tough decision now will be whether to continue buying the monthly pass or switching to tokens. There are a few pros and cons to each.

Pros for tokens- I will only buy $60 worth a month and therefore have no out of pocket expense.
Cons for tokens- I no longer get to TAP my way on to the bus/train each morning. Not to mention the inconvenience of having to purchase my pass everyday. And it's possible I'll use up all of my tokens and need to pay out of pocket anyways.

I've decided to try tokens for one month and see how it goes. Tomorrow should also mean a shakeup for Metro's bus routes which means new schedules/routes/stops, etc. Trying to figure everything out is difficult, but we have 511 to the rescue! Similar to 911 for emergencies, 511 is for transit and transportation. Southern California recently unveiled it's site with transit planning information, traffic alerts, carpool and bike information. It's a lot more user friendly then the trip planner offered on Metro's website AND more comprehensive than Google transit. (Sidenote: This may not be Google's fault since transit companies must be willing to provide the site with route and time information for this to work.) 511 might not be everything to everyone, but it is the dawn of Southern California transit being integrated on a regional scale that is easily accessible from any computer! Woo hoo!