Bus and light rail rates are going up

Posted at 11:48 PM, Feb 27, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-27 23:48:41-05

Catching the bus? Better bring more change because fares are going up.

A single ride costs 1.50 now and it has been that way since Hampton Roads Transit started back in 1999. Its operating costs have gone up drastically in 15 years.

"It seems small but I'm on a really scrapped budget as it is, so it's going to really affect me," said Naomi Muse of Norfolk.

The fare hikes are across the board. A day pass will go from $3.50 to four bucks. A single ride will go from $1.50 up a quarter, to $1.75.

This is just the first wave of rate hikes; another round comes in two years.

"It is what it is, but I'll probably just start eating noodles every night, instead of spaghetti or chicken or whatever," Muse said.

The change will cost daily commuters getting a pass $125 a year.

HRT had initially wanted to raise rates even more for its bus, light rail and ferry services taking a single pass from $1.50 to two bucks.

The HRT board says it settled in the middle to make it easier for riders making minimum wage.

"Well sometimes you just don't have the money all at one time," said Brian Ashford of Norfolk. "Sometimes you have a lot of people like myself who's living from day to day and the money's just not there to really purchase a month pass. You just get what you can."

The two-dollar ride and $4.50 day pass will come in July of 2016.

"It's so convenient, if it does go up to four dollars, ehh just have to work a little bit harder," said Shawn Claitt, a Tidewater Community College student.