Metro Fare Hike Debate; Bus Drivers Plea for Surveillance Cameras

You may soon have to pay more money to ride the Metro.

The Madison Parking and Transit Commission discussed Metro fare hike proposals Tuesday night.

After hours of discussion, commission members decided to continue talking about the proposals at the next meeting, and it's then that they will decide whether to hold a public hearing.

A number of concerned residents spoke to members asking that they look at other revenue sources before raising rates and hurting Metro's most needy and frequent customers.

Last year the city increased transit funding by $750,000 to close the gap. The mayor's spokesman, George Twigg, says that won't happen this year with rising costs across the board.

Madison Metro faces a $420,000 deficit this year.

In the two proposals made by Metro, single ride tickets would increase by either $0.15 or $0.10 in August, and then go up again at the start of the next three years by a smaller amount. Monthly tickets would go up by about $4 a year for 3 years.

Also at the meeting: bus drivers make a plea for increased safety measures.

Metro drivers say they're being abused and there's no way to pinpoint the suspects.

That's why they're asking the commission to put surveillance cameras on 15 buses that travel the more dangerous routes.

A local business also presented to the commission how it can install the cameras for less than $40,000.

Driver Sharon Williams says she has documented 147 driver abuse claims this year alone.

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