Riders React to Fare Hikes

Bus, trolley fares and monthly passes go up

The state budget deficit has taken a toll on San Diego's public transportation system, and starting Wednesday, commuters are feeling the pinch.

Monthly Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) passes jumped from $68 to $72 for adults. Children and students will now pay $36, while seniors will pay $18.

Even with the increase, commuter Alvin Boatner thinks it's a deal. 

"Sometimes I will ride buses and trolleys as much as six or seven times in one day," Boatner said. "To me, that's a steal."

Sara Cavaliere is new to San Diego. She said the rates aren't unreasonable. 

"Apparently it went up quite a bit, but I don't even think $72 is that much," Cavaliere said. "So I'm OK with it."

MTS officials said they lost more than $14 million in funding from the state and that the rate hikes were necessary. Some commuters said they can live with it, especially when they consider the alternatives.

Commuter Michael Rubin pointed out the cost is much cheaper than gas. And Cavaliere said, "It's a lot cheaper than paying underground parking downtown."

The downtown trolley zone cash fare will double in price, making all one-way trips on the trolley $2.50.

"What can we do?" said Eddie Medina, who rides the trolley. "We can't walk to work. Take the trolley, take the bus, take whatever we have to, but we got to get there, you know."

The $5 day pass stays the same. Fares on a few shuttle routes increased, and commuters will now pay 100 bucks for the premium monthly bus pass.

Monthly MTS passes are no longer available at a number of locations but are still being sold at Vons grocery stores.

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