Starting Wednesday, it will cost 25 cents more to ride Metro Transit and suburban transit buses and the Hiawatha light rail as recently approved fare increases go into effect.
Another fare increase is possible sometime next year.
Earlier this year, the Metropolitan Council approved the increase to help offset a budget deficit caused by rising fuel prices and higher health care and labor costs. The Met Council also cited lower-than-expected revenue from the state's motor vehicle sales tax.
The new fares will be $1.75 for non-rush-hour, regular-route service and $2.25 for non-rush-hour express bus service. Rush-hour service on regular routes will jump to $2.25 and rush-hour express bus service will climb to $3.
Those who use Metro Mobility, a service for the disabled, will see fares rise to $3 for non-rush-hour trips and $4 during rush hour, the Met Council said.
Without a fare increase, the Met Council said it would face a $15 million shortfall for 2009.
That deficit probably would have been larger had the Legislature not approved a $30.8 million allocation from county sales tax receipts to be used for local transit operations.
Another round of fare increases might be implemented sometime in 2009. Met Council Chairman Peter Bell said a 50-cent increase could go into effect sometime next year.