Raise fares during rush hour, but not during off peak and weekends

New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority is considering charging a lower fare for passengers rising off-peak hours -- at night and on weekends. The transit chief thinks it's a way to grow ridership.

I like the idea. The CTA should think about it too. I say if you're going to raise fares, put the hit on those with jobs. Raise fares for rush hour passengers, and keep them at the same current level for nights and weekend.

The CTA already is seeing a growth spurt on weekend, and this might help keep the trend going.

What do you think?

Filed under: CTA budget news, CTA in the news

Tags: budget, CTA

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  • Your headline does not exactly match what NYC is trying (and failing) to do, which is lower fares for off-peak. They are not discussing any raising of fares during rush hour.

    For NYC, it doesn't make much sense to do that. Many of their lines are near capacity even on non-rush hours from what I have read. They would just end up with less revenue. I don't think it would work here since there is a sizable amount of people already using it on the weekend anyway. The biggest growth areas in ridership have come on off-peak hours. I think this only works if you have a large majority of people only using it M-F. For instance, it makes sense for the Metra to discount their weekend passes.

  • I like the idea, but the point of course is not to "put the hit" on people with jobs. The point is to have the price match the demand to encourage more ridership off-peak when there is spare capacity, and move non-essential trips out of the peak hour when there is limited capacity. DC already does this.

  • I guess if everyone in Chicago worked from 9 to 5, and never took the CTA for anything but commuting to work, that would make sense.

  • If fares have to get raised, I like the idea of hiking them in this more limited way. The CTA can, arguably, take advantage of the fact that most folks (or at least those with other options) will still choose to pay a little extra to ride transit as opposed to the alternative of driving at a stressful, crowded time.

    When I lived in Minneapolis-St.Paul, there was a different rate for riding Metro Transit during rush hours. Not sure if they still do that.

  • In reply to wantonlife:

    Does it mean I could get a seat during rush hour on the way into work? If not, forget it. Why pay more to stand packed in like sardines. I'd rather drive.

  • In reply to OrangeLiner:

    Because it's:
    --still less stressful than driving
    --still cheaper than driving
    --still more socially responsible

    How about proposing a solution rather than simply complaining?

  • In reply to wantonlife:

    My drive in would be a breeze, Archer to Canal. It is not stressful. True, parking is a bear, but so is struggling for space to stand on the Orange Line almost every morning, dealing with the occasional rude passenger, poor train driver, and late trains due to broken switching equipment. The brown line runs, what, every 2 minutes during rush hour? Not so the Orange Line. Yet are trains are overstuffed, and if I recall as a former Brown Line rider, that is not quite so true on the Brown Line.

  • In reply to wantonlife:

    My drive in would be a breeze, Archer to Canal. It is not stressful. True, parking is a bear, but so is struggling for space to stand on the Orange Line almost every morning, dealing with the occasional rude passenger, poor train driver, and late trains due to broken switching equipment. The brown line runs, what, every 2 minutes during rush hour? Not so the Orange Line. Yet are trains are overstuffed, and if I recall as a former Brown Line rider, that is not quite so true on the Brown Line.

  • In reply to OrangeLiner:

    Driving in Chicago "not stressful"??? Do we live in the same Chicago?

  • In reply to OrangeLiner:

    Maybe, if only for trains. Buses during rush are actually already disadvantaged due to heavier traffic.

  • In reply to wantonlife:

    Sold. I'd pay more if I knew it could push non essential trippers to use the system outside of the peak windows. I looked at NJ Transit's peak/off peak difference (heavy rail) it's about $2 more for peak each way as an example.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not happy about paying more but it's an option that could help more with capacity vs revenue.

  • In reply to wantonlife:

    I'd love to see a free rides system from say midnight to 5AM to decrease drunk driving, much like they do as "penny rides" for New Years Eve. It would improve off-peak use and while it might not directly increase revenue it would encourage public transit use (which may translate into use at other times) and would of course encourage safer drinking habits.

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