As part of long term financial and service planning, Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (METRO) staff has been conducting preliminary analysis of passenger fare restructuring including opportunities for improved fare payment technologies. This analysis has determined that due to stagnant revenues and increasing costs, new revenue is necessary to avoid reducing service within the next five years.
METRO’s fixed-route passenger fare revenue for FY17 was $9.4 million with almost half of passenger fare revenue coming from funding contracts with UCSC and Cabrillo College for fixed route bus service that serves both college campuses.
METRO is currently engaging technology vendors and analyzing the various new technological features being introduced at many of our peer transit agencies. New fare payment technology allows for the opportunity to improve customer convenience, amenity and experience through modernizing fare payment products and methods. Improved fare payment technologies could also speed up the boarding process, which would reduce operating costs for METRO and improve on-time performance for patrons.
Outreach activities to collect public feedback and to inform patrons of the restructuring process include surveys administered at transit centers and offered online, presentations at various county and city organizations, and a series of eight public meetings. METRO is holding these Public Meetings throughout March and April to solicit input on the fare restructuring proposals.
Informal Public Meetings
- March 1 – 4:00-7:00pm – Watsonville Public Library, Meeting Room
- March 5 – 4:00-7:00pm – Louden Nelson Community Center, Room 4
- March 7 – 4:00-7:00pm – Felton Community Hall, Meeting Room
- March 12 – 4:00-7:00pm – Live Oak Community Center, Community Room B
Formal Public Meetings
- April 9 – 4:00-7:00pm – Felton Community Hall, Meeting Room
- April 16 – 4:00-7:00pm – Live Oak Community Center, Community Room B
- April 17 – 4:00-7:00pm – Louden Nelson Community Center, Room 4
- April 19 – 4:00-7:00pm – Watsonville Public Library, Meeting Room
For further details on the fare restructuring analysis please visit www.scmtd.com/fare-restructuring
Santa Cruz METRO operates bus service in Santa Cruz County and Highway 17 commuter service to San Jose, providing about 5.5 million passenger trips a year. METRO also provides paratransit service in Santa Cruz County with its ParaCruz service, providing about 86,000 trips per year.
METRO’s operating budget in FY18 is $48 million. Today it operates a fleet of 98 buses and maintains 936 bus stops served by 27 routes with service to the cities of Santa Cruz, Capitola, Watsonville, and Scotts Valley, as well as the unincorporated areas of Aptos, Soquel, Live Oak, Bonny Doon, Davenport, and the San Lorenzo Valley in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The University of California at Santa Cruz and Cabrillo College both have student bus pass programs and account for over half of system ridership.
For more information visit www.scmtd.com