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MATBUS Public Hearing for Proposed Fare Structure Changes

Post Date:11/08/2021 2:42 pm




The Cities of Fargo and Moorhead are planning to offer new payment options, including mobile ticketing and Smartcards with Pay As You Go and Fare Capping.  The new options require restructuring of fares charged on public transit, including MATBUS Fixed Routes and MAT Paratransit.  If approved, the changes would become effective when the software update is complete, estimated to be sometime in January 2022.  A two-week advance notice through Rider Alert emails, social media and posters will be provided prior to implementation. Detailed information is available on the MATBUS website. 

MATBUS – Fixed Routes

Base fare:  Remains at the current rate of $1.50 for adults and $0.75 for elderly (age 60 and older), youth (K-12th grade) and persons with disabilities (including Medicare card holders).  For cash payment, a paper transfer ticket will be issued by the driver on request at the time of payment.  Transfers will be valid for 90 minutes rather than the current 60 minutes.

Multi-Day Passes:  Passes will no longer be sold for 14-day, 30-day and 90-day periods.  The 1-day pass will continue to be sold on-board the bus for $5 cash.

Ride Passes:   10-ride passes will no longer be sold.  1-ride paper tickets in packets of 20 will continue to be sold but only to approved agencies and may be discontinued in the future.

Introducing “Connect”:  MATBUS will introduce “Connect”, a new account-based system. Passengers set up an account and load funds in advance onto either a Smartcard or mobile phone app. With the Connect Program, the passenger uses “Pay as You Go,” where the cost is deducted for each ride.  Pay as You Go removes the barrier of high upfront costs for multi-day passes.  With Connect, passengers who ride frequently will earn free rides when their spending reaches a certain threshold; this is called “fare capping.”  Passengers will never pay more than $3 a day.  After spending $3 in one day, all future rides for the day are free.  Adult passengers will never pay more than $42 in 31 days with fare capping.  Discount passenger (elderly and persons with disabilities) will be capped at $27 in 31 days.  Youth rides will be capped at $27 in a 90-day period.  Paper transfer tickets will not be needed with Connect.  The ride payment is valid for 90 minutes to make transfers between routes easier.  A minimum amount of $5 is required to be loaded on your account. The initial Smartcard is free; the replacement card fee will be $5. 

Downtown and Sanford Passes:  These two passes are currently part of a promotion to encourage transit use in the downtown area.  The pass would be renamed “Business Pass” and be available for purchase by employers for their employees at the rate of $27 for 31 days.  This is a change from the current fare of $22.50 for 30 days. 

Semester Pass:  This pass is currently offered as a promotional fare to faculty and staff at U-Pass participating colleges, and to students of colleges not participating in the U-Pass program.  Currently, the pass is valid for specific dates based on semester class schedules. The fare price would change from $45 to $60 and be valid for a period of 120 consecutive calendar days from initial use.

Free Rides:  There will be no change to free rides currently offered to children (age birth to preschool) with an adult, a Personal Care Attendant to a person with disabilities, and veterans with disabilities.

MAT Paratransit

Base fare:  The base fare will remain at the current rate of $3 for persons with disabilities certified as ADA Paratransit Eligible.  Exact change is no longer required; a paper “change card” will be issued for use on future rides.  Coupon books will continue to be sold in advance for those passengers without access to computers or credit cards, but may be discontinued in the future for other fare options.

Introducing Paratransit Connect:  The new Paratransit Connect system will be available for loading funds onto a Smartcard or the mobile phone app.  A minimum amount of $5 is required to be loaded. Under “Pay as you Go”, $3 will be deducted for each ride.  Pay as You Go removes the barrier of high upfront costs.  Fare capping does not apply to MAT Paratransit.  The initial Smartcard is free, but the replacement card fee will be $5.

Sunday Fare:  For passengers certified as ADA Paratransit eligible, the Sunday fare will remain at $3.  A new rate is being established for the general public who wish to ride on MAT Paratransit on Sundays at the rate of $25 per ride. 

Informational Meeting:  An informational meeting open to the general public will be held on Thursday, November 18, 2021, 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm at the Ground Transportation Center, 502 NP Ave Fargo, ND, to review and discuss the proposed changes.  Written and oral comments will be received at that meeting and considered by staff prior to the final recommendation to the Fargo City Commission and Moorhead City Council. 

Public Hearing Dates:  Notice is hereby given that public hearings will be held for the purpose of considering changes in the passenger fare structure for all public transit services as follows:

Fargo City Commission Moorhead City Council
Monday, November 29, 2021 Monday, November 22, 2021
5:15 pm 5:45 pm
Fargo City Hall Hjemkomst Center
225 4 St N  202 1 Ave N
Fargo, ND 58102  Moorhead, MN 56560

At the hearings, interested persons will be afforded an opportunity to be heard with respect to the proposed increase in fares.  In addition, written comments may be submitted in advance of the public hearing to: 

Julie Bommelman                                              Lori Van Beek
Fargo Transit Director Moorhead Transit Manager
650 23 St N   650 23 St N
Fargo, ND 58102 Fargo, ND 58102
701.476.6737                                             701.476.6686
For TDD Relay Service call 7-1-1 For TDD Relay Service Call 7-1-1

Upon request, accommodations for individuals with disabilities, language barriers, or other needs to allow participation in meetings will be provided.  To arrange assistance, call the Fargo City Commission at 701.241.1310 (voice) or 701.241.8258 (TDD) or Moorhead City Clerk’s Office at 218.299.5304 (voice) or 7.1.1 (TDD/TTY) no later than noon the day of the meeting. 

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