WeHo Council Asked to Increase Subsidies as Metro Fares Rise

mta busWith a 43 percent increase in public transit fares for the elderly and disabled set to take effect in September, West Hollywood’s Transportation Committee voted Wednesday to ask the City Council to increase its subsidy of those fares.

The Metro board approved the increase in May. The cost of a monthly senior/disabled pass will increase from $14 to $20, the largest percentage increase. One-way bus and rail passes will go from $1.50 to $1.75. Day passes will increase from $5 to $7. Monthly passes will increase from $75 to $100.

At present, West Hollywood subsidizes 42 percent of the senior/disabled monthly pass cost, reducing it to $8.

The city’s Disabilities Advisory Board voted in June to recommend that the City Council increase its subsidy to keep the cost of a pass for seniors and disabled people at its current rate. The Transportation Committee made a similar recommendation Wednesday.

In a report to the Committee, Perri Goodman, the city’s transportation program administrator, said that on average 350 seniors and disabled people in West Hollywood buy a total of 4,260 subsidized bus and rail passes a year, at a cost to the city of $25,560. Increasing the subsidy provided by the City to $10 per pass would mean an increase of $17,040 to West Hollywood. An increase of $12 in the subsidy would keep the price at $8 and increase the cost to the City by $25,560, or 100 percent.

The Metro board approved the cost increase at a contentious meeting at which some bus and rail users said they might lose their homes or be forced to choose between food and transportation with the price increase.

Metro staffers said the system faced a $36-million gap in its 2016 operating budget. Without the fare hike, they said, Metro might have to lay off nearly 1,000 of the agency’s 9,000 employees or cutting up to 1 million hours of bus and rail service next year.


newest oldest
Notify of
wehoenthusiast
Guest
wehoenthusiast

i really appreciate this. Am disabled and otherwise would use other resources but thank you WeHo for this and caring about seniors/ disabled people.

jimmypalmieri
Guest

In a city known for its support and care for seniors and the differently abled, I cannot imagine any single council member not approving this. I think all of them take this to heart. They may not agree on everything, all of the time, but this is something I have seen them all come together on.

SaveWeho
Guest
SaveWeho

I agree. $8400 is a much better use of money than say…maintaining the rainbow crosswalks which cost $40,000 to just install from what I remember. That’s nearly 5 years of funding for seniors and disabled.

Snarkygal
Guest
Snarkygal

The City spends so much money on so many unnecessary things. No matter how much it costs, it should at least cover whatever the Seniors and Disabled need to get around.

Larry Block
Guest

What’s missing here is that this is only the first of a phased in series of increases. The senior advisory board voted to accept the staff recommendation of $10 and $10 split. The Disability Board had a vigorous debate and voted 4-2 in favor of asking the city to cover the entire amount of this first increase. The total cost extra to the city for covering the extra $2.. is approximately $8400 per year and does not affect any of the other cities budget priorities.