Valley Metro to Lower Bus Fares

Valley Metro is considering lowering bus fares from $1.25 to $1.00. Most people would be happy with lower prices, but not Zelmo Zeroman and here is why.

Zelmo Zeroman sometimes takes the bus to downtown Tempe to visit his P.O. Box. Zelmo pays $1.25 upon boarding the bus and is given a "transfer" coupon that allows him to board another bus (or busses) for free over a two hour period. Thanks to the transfer coupon, a round-trip visit to downtown Tempe costs Zelmo $1.25.

As part of Valley Metro's new fare structure, they are discontinuing the use of the two-hour transfer coupons. In other words, Zelmo Zeroman will pay a $1.00 to get to downtown Tempe plus another dollar to get back home; therefore, increasing Zelmo's round-trip cost from $1.25 to $2.00.

The day after I wrote this BAB (Basic Arithmetic Bit), the East Valley section of the Arizona Republic had an editorial titled: "Simplifying fare system may boost bus ridership." The newspaper supported Valley Metro's fare restructuring; however, they did point out the following "catch."

   "If there is a 'catch' with this system, it's that it will make 
    people pay for the transfers they are now getting for free.

    People who make short trips commonly use transfer slips for a 
    free way home, making their roundtrip $1.25. They aren't supposed 
    to be doing that now, but the rules aren't often enforced."

Zelmo Zeroman proves that "ignorance is not bliss" because he was totally unaware that he wasn't suppose to use bus transfers for a free ride home.

Exercises
  1. Compute Valley Metro's bus fare percentage decrease.
  2. Compute Zelmo Zeroman's bus fare percentage increase.
  3. Compute how many extra dollars Zelmo will pay if he rides the bus downtown once per week for fifty weeks.
  4. Zelmo's roadtrip bus ride is 11 miles. Assume he pays $2.00 for a roundtrip. Compute how much per mile Zelmo pays per roundtrip.
  5. Zelmo participates in the Adopt-A-BusStop program and is awarded with a 15% discount on his $2.00 round-trip bus ride. Compute how much money per round-trip ride Zelmo saves.

Creator: Gerald D. Thurman [gthurman@gmail.com]
Created: 09 March 2005

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.