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Fares Are About To Go Up For MetroLift Paratransit Service

It’s MetroLift’s first fare increase in over two decades and some riders aren’t happy about it.

MetroLift customers board paratransit buses outside Metro's downtown headquarters.
MetroLift customers board paratransit buses outside Metro’s downtown headquarters.

MetroLift is an on-demand ride service tailored to people with disabilities. The fare was last raised in 1991 to $1.15. But after two years of studies and public meetings, the base fare is increasing.

Starting in February, it goes up to $1.25.

And that worries riders like Robert Williams who’s on a fixed income.

“Things are getting higher, as you already know, which is food as well as shelter and everything like that,” says Williams. “So just any increase, just even by a dollar or so, makes a big difference for us.”

But Metro Chairman Gilbert Garcia says the agency also has to watch its bottom line. He says while fares have stayed the same for almost 24 years, the actual cost of a MetroLift round-trip is now up to $52.

“We are the lowest cost MetroLift in the system,” says Garcia. “It is the highest subsidy. We really needed to do something to make it sustainable.”

To offset the fare increase, Metro says it will let MetroLift customers use the fixed-route buses for free.


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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

News Anchor

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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