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For Immediate Release:

WE HEARD YOU!

MTA ISSUES NEW MARC 5-DAY WEEKLY PASS

New Product Provides MARC Commuters More Choices

June 19, 2015

BALTIMORE, MD – Administrator Paul W. Comfort has announced a new 5-day weekly pass with a lower fare than the 7-day weekly pass fare, responding to concerns from MARC commuters about the legislatively mandated fare increase to take effect June 25.  Since the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) introduced the new mandated fares, MARC commuters have contacted MTA to determine if new ticket options could be made available to commuters who do not routinely take advantage of the 7-day service, which includes the new MARC Weekend Service. 

“We’ve heard you and will be moving forward with more choices for our riders by introducing a new 5-day weekly pass,” said MTA Administrator Comfort.  “MARC Weekend Service between Baltimore and Washington is growing in popularity, but not every commuter needs a 7-day weekly pass. For those who only commute Monday through Friday, we will have a 5-day weekly pass available at a price that reflects the actual usage of these commuters.”

The 5-day weekly pass will provide unlimited trips on MARC and local transit services Monday through Friday.  The new option will be available on June 25 along with the other new fares recently announced by MTA.  As MTA works to get the new product into all the purchasing systems, customers interested in buying the new 5-day weekly pass can purchase it online at www.commuterdirect.com or in person at the Odenton and Frederick MARC Stations and at the Commuter Stores in Arlington, Virginia.  At a later date, the new 5-day weekly pass also will be available through Amtrak.

For MARC riders who want to take advantage of the MARC Weekend Service or the multitude of other local transit service options on the weekend, the previously announced 7-day weekly pass will provide unlimited rides on:  MARC, MTA Core Service (Baltimore bus, light rail, and Metro subway), Washington Metrobuses, Montgomery County Ride On bus, Frederick County TransIT, and MTA Commuter Bus Routes 505 and 515.   

For the shortest MARC routes, the 5-day weekly pass will cost $37.50, compared to $30 for the weekly passes available prior to June 25.  Fare increases for the new 5-day weekly pass will range between 9 and 25 percent compared to the current weekly pass.

The legislatively mandated fare increases will help pay for new MARC services including: 
The MARC Bike Car, holiday service on the Brunswick and Camden lines, Weekend Service on the Penn Line and four additional trips on the Camden Line. 

The fare increase was mandated by the passage of the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013* and requires MTA to adjust fares for core services, which includes Local Bus, Light Rail, Metro Subway and Mobility/Paratransit, every two years and for Commuter Bus and MARC Train every five years.  As outlined in the law, the increase in core service fares (single-trip full fare) is based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) during the past two years, rounded to the nearest dime.  The law requires one-way zone fares and multi-use pass fares for Commuter Bus and MARC Train to increase by the rise in the CPI during the last five years, rounded to the nearest dollar.

The current $1.60 base fare (single-trip full fare) for Local Bus, Light Rail and Metro Subway services will increase by 10 cents to $1.70.  Other bus fares will increase including:  school tickets by 10 cents and Mobility/Paratransit fares by five cents.  Basic fares for MARC Train will increase by $1.00 while Commuter Bus fares will increase from 25 cents to $1.25 depending on the distance people travel.  The new multi-use fares (Day, Weekly and Monthly Passes) also will increase using the new base fare and the current average number of trips for the calculation.

For a complete list of fare changes, please visit  http://mta.maryland.gov/new-fare-pricing.

For the latest information on MTA service, passengers are urged to check the MTA website at www.mta.maryland.gov.  Customers also can call the MTA Transit Information Contact Center Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 410-539-5000 or TTY 410-539-3497.  To sign up for email alerts about service modifications go to www.mta.maryland.gov/enotifications.  Visit MTA’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mtamaryland or Twitter feed athttp://twitter.com/mtamaryland for more sources of updated information.

To read the full language in the law, use this link and reference pages 16, 17, 18 and 19 in the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013.  This link also shows on page 17 that the transit fare increase shall be implemented beginning in Fiscal Year 2015, allowing the fare increase to take place as early as July 1, 2014, but no later than July 1, 2015.

Media Contact:
Paul Shepard, MTA, 410-767-3935

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