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Comment on Proposed ART, STAR Fare Increases

April 23, 2017

The Arlington County Board approved the ART and STAR fare increases that are described below. They will go into effect on June 25, 2017.

On April 22, 2017, the Arlington County Board approved a request to advertise fare increases for Arlington Transit (ART) and Specialized Transportation for Arlington Residents (STAR), the County's transit service for people with disabilities. If approved, the increases would take effect on July 1, 2017.

Proposed ART fare increases

The proposal would raise the ART adult fare from $1.75 to $2.00 and the ART discount fare for seniors, students and people with disabilities from $0.85 to $1.00. The adult fare increase would match a recent fare increase for Metrobus that goes into effect this summer. ART fares have historically tracked with Metrobus rates to help keep bus fares simple and uniform across the region.

The proposed fare increase would also help offset increases in ART’s operating expenses. The base fare for ART was last increased in July 2014, by $0.25. Since then, ART has continued to grow – with the addition of two new routes and with system ridership increasing by 10% through the fiscal year ending June 2016.

Proposed STAR fare increases

The fare proposal would increase the STAR Zone 1 fare from $3.50 to $4.00, and the STAR Zone 2 and Zone 3 fares would increase $0.50, from $5.00 to $5.50 and from $9.00 to $9.50, respectively. The increases would keep the Zone 1 fare at double the ART adult fare, while also helping to offset increases in STAR operating expenses.

Reduced fares for elementary school students and personal care assistants

Other fare changes include extending the iRide half-fare program to elementary school students, and allowing personal care attendants to ride ART free when accompanying a MetroAccess rider.

Arlington middle and high school students are able to ride ART at half-fare through the iRide program, while children up to age 6 ride free on ART. We heard from parents who asked why they must pay full-fare for their younger children while their older children ride at half-fare. Extending iRide to elementary school students would correct this situation, while introducing younger children to public transit.

Extending free rides to the personal care attendants of MetroAccess users would enable more MetroAccess and STAR users to meet their travel needs using ART. More people with disabilities would be able to ride ART if an aide could assist them to and from bus stops and with transferring between routes. Riders would also benefit from using ART because they do not have to book a STAR ride a day or more in advance.

How to comment

The public is invited to provide comments on this fare proposal at the May 4 Transportation Commission meeting and the May 9 Transit Advisory Committee meeting, as well as at the May 23 at 7 PM County Board meeting, see agenda.

Comments can also be submitted through the ART website:

  • ART fare comments
  • STAR fare comments

Outdated links removed April 18, 2019.

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