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Potential Updates to Fare Programs

CapMetro wants to make our fares more equitable. We know that low-income customers, who depend on our services the most, tend to pay for their transit passes one trip at a time instead of taking advantage of the savings that come with day or monthly passes.

To bring those savings to more of our customers, we are recommending two potential fare changes that will require board approval: fare capping and an additional discounted fare category. Fare capping and Equifare would help protect affordability for low-income customers should CapMetro ever raise overall fare prices. We’ll accomplish this through an updated fare payment system built into a new CapMetro App and a physical smart card.


View the Presentation

View a recent Community Info Session below to learn more about the proposed fare programs

 

Download the presentation

Program Feedback

We are actively seeking community feedback to help us develop best practices to reduce barriers ​for the roll out of the proposed fare programs, including:

  • Account enrollment
  • Eligibility considerations for Equifare
  • Implementation and engagement opportunities
  • Partner programs and community organizations
  • Ways to reduce community impact

Give your input

Upcoming Meetings

CapMetro is starting a community engagement and education effort on potential new fare programs, which will go to the board for review as early as May. We hope that you can join us as we collect feedback and input on proposed fare changes.


Community Info Sessions

Wednesday, June 29, 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
In-person Meeting at 624 N. Pleasant Valley Rd, 78702
*Food will be provided*

Wednesday, July 13, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Virtual Meeting – Register Here
Zoom Webinar with Streaming on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube
Spanish translation will be provided


Nonprofit & Agency Info Sessions

Thursday, July 14, 10:30 am-11:30 am
Virtual Meeting – Register Here 
Zoom Webinar


Proposed Fare Programs Overview

Below you can read about our proposed fare programs to better serve our growing population, including fare capping, Equifare, and a new account-based system to house them both called AMP. We encourage you to share your input on the programs and enrollment process considerations on our Program Feedback page. Your feedback will inform our program implementation.

New Account-Based Fare System

The new fare payment system will require customers to register for what we’re calling an Amp account to access its full potential.

They will use Amp to add cash value on their new CapMetro App or smart card. Customers will be able to tap their Amp card or scan their phone to pay a fare. Fare capping is a feature built into every transaction that uses Amp.

Fare Capping

With fare capping, customers using Amp never pay more than the total cost of a Day Pass in a calendar day, or the total cost of a monthly pass in a calendar month. It allows customers to pay for one trip at a time and still receive the savings of a Day Pass or monthly pass.

Equifare - A New Discounted Fare

CapMetro currently provides two fare types: Standard and Reduced Fares. We are proposing a new discounted fare type called Equifare, similar to programs already being used in Dallas and Portland.

Customers must meet eligibility requirements for the Equifare rate. Currently, we are looking into using requirements similar to the city of Austin’s Customer Assistance Program, such as the household income limit of 200% of the Federal Poverty Level or enrollment in one of several assistance programs.

As of now, here are our proposed discounted rates for Equifare passes:

CURRENT FARE TYPESPROPOSED*
 PASS TYPEStandardReducedEquifare
Local BusSingle Ride$1.25$0.60$1.00
Day Pass$2.50$1.25$2.00
Month Pass$41.25$20.60$33.00
Commuter
Bus + Rail
Single Ride$3.50$1.75$3.00
Day Pass$7.00$3.50$6.00
Month Pass$96.25$48.10$77.00

* Proposed rates are being used to perform a Title VI analysis.

 


Title VI Analysis

We believe this new fare category will increase equity in our community. CapMetro is concluding a federally required Title VI analysis to understand how fare capping and Equifare could affect communities of color and low-income population. We will share the results of that analysis and host a public hearing before bringing any fare structure changes to the board.

At the same time, our Community Engagement team will be meeting with community stakeholders and collecting input on these programs, which will include proposed eligibility requirements and the process for registration.

Review the Analysis


 

When Could the Changes Take Place?

CapMetro expects to ask for board approval of these new programs (Equifare and fare capping) as early as May. Our presentation to the board would include a summary of the Title VI analysis and of the community response to that analysis, along with public input received on the proposed changes in fare programs.

The Amp account system may be ready to release to customers by the fall. Once account registration is made available and we’ve begun distribution of Amp cards to the public, CapMetro’s Community Engagement team will perform extensive community outreach including in-person events, community partnerships and street team activations to sign up customers on the spot.

 

FAQs

Fare capping allows you to get the savings of a Day Pass or monthly pass without paying the cost upfront. Every time you ride CapMetro, use an Amp account to pay for that trip. Here's how it works for MetroBus:

  • After purchasing 2 Single Rides in one day, you earn a Daily Cap and ride free the rest of the day.
  • After you pay for 33 trips in one month, you earn a Monthly Cap and ride free until the first of the next month.

Yes, each customer with an Amp account can receive fare capping.

This is still being determined, though CapMetro is recommending using the same eligibility requirements used by the city of Austin's Customer Assistance Program, which states that customers must have a household income less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level or indicate proof of enrollment in one of the qualifying assistance programs.

Yes, cash will still be accepted. Cash may also be loaded on to the customer’s Amp account at 250+ retail locations.

Amp accounts give our customers the most secure, convenient and affordable way to pay for CapMetro.

  • Unlike a pre-paid transit pass, if you lose your physical Amp card then your account balance can be protected until you receive a replacement card. Or, you can transfer your balance to the Amp digital wallet on your smart phone.
  • You can check and re-load your account balance online or on your phone.
  • Fare capping is only available for customers with an Amp smart card or an Amp account on the CapMetro app.

Yes, there is no requirement to register your physical Amp card. You can load it with cash at 250+ retail locations, and use the card to pay for CapMetro bus and train trips. However, you must register your card to receive the Equifare rate (once qualified).

No, it is not required, but we do recommend creating and using an Amp account. The only way to use fare capping is to have an Amp card or Amp account on your CapMetro App.

The technology may be ready to release to customers by late summer or early fall 2022. Interested customers can sign up to receive news through MetroAlerts.

Customers who qualify for both Reduced Fare and Equifare rates would be offered the Reduced Fare price since it is the lower rate.