[Source: Kerry Fehr-Snyder, Arizona Republic] — Before the Valley’s light-rail service ever begins, the cost to ride the train and city buses may be headed up. The issue of raising the Valley’s regional fare policy has been brewing for several months as transit officials have struggled to cover rising gas prices and other increased operation costs, said Greg Jordan, Tempe’s transit administrator. Transit and light-rail costs are covered by a half-cent sales tax, which has fallen over the past year.
Sales-tax revenue fell by about 8 percent in August compared with the same month a year ago, according to the Maricopa Association of Governments. Proposals to raise fares are expected to come before Valley Metro’s board, which oversees bus and light-rail service and is comprised of Valley mayors and City Council members, in January and February. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]