Metro To Fund Rail Expansion Through Sale of 60 Thousand Collectable Transit Cards
May 21, 2024
Metro's riders have shown us how much they love our commemorative transit cards. Whether it's riders lining up outside our customer service center, or visiting multiple stations to check to see if cards are in stock, they've been a hit! And when it comes to collectible cards, once you get one, you gotta get them all. We love when our riders get excited about one of our programs, and it's even better when we can harness that excitement to help improve Metro. When we launched our custom 40 year anniversary card in 2018, our accounting team informed us we had sold so many of the collectible cards, we were actually making a profit on them. This was surprising news as it was the first time any department in Metro was running with a surplus of funds. Metro management decided to use this welcome surplus for a study to determine the viability of collectible transit cards as a funding source. While the study did go 1.2 million over budget, it did confirm that subsequent collectible transit cards could provide revenue. Now that Metro has confirmation about the viability of this approach, we turned to what would be required to fund the 3 mile extension of the new Suburban Heights light rail line. The funding for this line has been contested as the corridor is not served by any bus service and therefore Metro has very little ridership data to base projections on. With our new funding source as an option, Metro is able to restart the project. Based on the surplus generated by our most recent collectible transit card (a picture of a turtle wearing a hat), it was calculated that issuing 60 thousand new collectible transit cards would fund the project until 2026. So get ready to get collecting! The first 439 different transit card designs will be issued next month!
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