On Wednesday, May 24, 2023, TriMet’s Board of Directors approved a fare increase that will go into effect Jan. 1, 2024. This is the first increase in our base Adult fare in more than a decade, but the Board chose not to increase monthly fare caps. That means those who ride frequently and use our Hop Fastpass™ fare card will not see an increase in their monthly costs, despite the fare increase.
The fare increase is anticipated to increase the revenue TriMet collects from fares by $5.3 million dollars annually, but that amount is expected to increase as service expands and ridership rebounds. The revenue will help stabilize TriMet’s financial future and allow the rollout of our Forward Together service plan, developed with the community, to increase service by more than 30% from pandemic levels. The service expansion will give more people, especially those with lower incomes, more access to more transit service, to reach more jobs and places.
“While an increase in cost is never easy, the Board’s decision, as financial stewards of TriMet and the public dollars we receive, is an important one for our future and the future of transit in our community,” said TriMet General Manager Sam Desue, Jr. “It will help pay for Forward Together, putting more buses in more areas to get people where they need to go and provide an investment in our light rail system to update decades-old mechanisms and equipment reaching the end of their useful life.”
The following TriMet fares will increase beginning Jan. 1, 2024:
- Adult 2 ½ Hour Ticket: up 30 cents to $2.80
- Honored Citizen 2 ½ Hour Ticket: up 15 cents to $1.40
- Youth 2 ½ Hour Ticket: up 15 cents to $1.40
- LIFT paratransit Single Ride Ticket: up 30 cents to $2.80
An all-day pass would still be the cost of two tickets, increasing accordingly:
- Adult Day Pass: up 60 cents to $5.60
- Honored Citizen Day Pass: up 30 cents to $2.80
- Youth Day Pass: up 30 cents to $2.80
When TriMet fares increase in January 2024, the monthly cap on fares for those using our Hop card will stay the same: $100 for Adult fare payers and $28 for Youth and Honored Citizen reduced fare payers. That means riders will reach the monthly fare cap sooner, and ride for no additional cost starting earlier in the month. Under the fare increase, those paying Adult fare would reach $100 after buying 17.5 day passes, and those paying Youth or Honored Citizen reduced fare would reach $28 after 10 day passes.
TriMet held off increasing our base fare since 2012. Yet since that time, TriMet has seen our own costs increase, and people have paid more for everything from fuel to water, garbage, utilities, groceries and other basic services and products.
In the past decade, water fees jumped by 110%, sewer rates went up more than 50% and garbage collection fees rose by more than 20%. The Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increased by more than 20%.
Among the rise in costs TriMet has experienced, the cost of tires for our buses have gone up 30% in the past decade. The average cost for a gallon of fuel was 18% higher in the past year than in fiscal year 2018, and since mid-2021, we’ve seen a 10%-25% increase in prices for many of the parts and components for our buses and trains.
TriMet’s January 2024 fare increase will represent a 12% hike.
TriMet understands a fare increase may be challenging for those on low and limited incomes who rely on transit. In addition to keeping monthly far caps for those who use our Hop card at the same cost of today, TriMet will continue our reduced fare program and other Access Transit programs that have been helping people who are struggling financially. Those programs have been in place for years now, and TriMet will work to further expand awareness and availability of the programs.
TriMet’s Honored Citizen reduced fare program allows people over 65, those with disabilities and those who earn a low income to ride daily for half the cost of an adult fare, and up to 72% less a month. In addition to that, those who qualify for the Honored Citizen reduced fare based on their income level receive a free month of rides when they register for the program or re-enroll. We’ll be working to expand promotion of the Honored Citizen reduced fare so more people are aware of the savings. We’re also exploring extending the registration for the reduced fare program from two years to three years.
Since July 2018, when TriMet expanded the reduced fare program to those making up to 200% of the federal poverty level, more than 50,000 people have signed up. Learn more at trimet.org/income.
Since 2013, TriMet’s Access Transit programs have provided fare assistance and fare relief grants to eligible 501(c)(3) nonprofit and community-based organizations. We give more than 100 organizations fares at a reduced cost or at no cost, so they can get them into the hands of those who need them. Since 2015, TriMet has provided those community partners with more than $12.2 million in fares. Learn more at trimet.org/accesstransit.
While TriMet’s youth fare for those ages 7 through 17 is half the cost of an adult fare, we also have programs for high schools to provide students free or discounted fares. Learn more at trimet.org/summerpass. Youth age 6 and under ride free with an accompanying adult.
TriMet also provides LIFT paratransit rides at a reduced rate to those who rely on this service, and we will continue charging for those rides as half the cost that the federal government designated for paratransit service.
TriMet will also work to expand our Hop retail network to make it easy for people to buy Hop card and reload value. Visit myhopcard.com to learn more about Hop.