L.A. Metro Fare: An Unwarranted Inconvenience For The Working Class


Kenza Walkowiak-Chevalier, Reporter

Next time you ride a Metro bus, make sure you bring your TAP Card & enough money to pay the newly reinstated fares. 

On January 10th, Metro brought back fares for buses and trains. While fares are still discounted, I and many others remain confused and frustrated about this change. Metro buses have been fare-free since March 2020, a result of the pandemic to provide economic relief to the working class. Now, with fares being re-implemented, the temporary economic ease for public transportation that low-income families relied on to get around the city has been taken away from them. 

Despite Metro’s efforts to maintain some form of discounted fares, public transportation is still something that should be made more easily accessible and affordable for the working class—as well as better maintenance of the current public transportation systems we have.

Thankfully, low-income families are still able to get discounted passes through Metro’s Low-Income Fare Is Easy. Having an EBT card, Medi-Cal Card, CalFresh Eligibility Letter, or free or reduced lunch letter all make you eligible to get discounted fares. 

Metro is also exploring the practicality of completely free public transportation systems. Through their pilot program, many children in local school districts and LAUSD schools are able to get TAP cards for free rides until next summer. 

Since fares have been reinstated, annoyance is prevalent amongst those who previously relied on public transportation, who are now finding out they suddenly have to pay a fee. 

Current discounted fees for Metro buses are $1.75 for a one way trip & $2.50 for certain express buses. These discounted fees will be available to riders until July 20, 2022 for anyone who is not eligible for a discount program. 

Despite the economic ease that may have previously been felt by lower income families as a result of fares being removed, Metro is still making an effort to provide discounted fares to the general public. 

Overall, this fee has still inconvenienced myself as well as many people who rely on the Metro for transport. Already, it is more difficult to get where I need to go. Over time, this fee inclusion will only continue to disadvantage those who were once reliant on fare-free public transportation in order to get where they needed to be.