AC Transit Board Votes to Raise Fares

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For the first time in four years, the AC Transit Board of Directors has voted to raise cash fares, beginning July 1st, to help offset a staggering $57 million deficit. It means the cost of adult bus fares will go up from $1.75 to $2.00. From the press release:

In
addition, the cost of adult 10-Ride tickets will rise from $17.50 to $20; the
$70 adult 31-Day pass will increase to $80 each; transbay cash fares from $3.50
to $4; and the transbay 31-Day pass goes from $116 to $132.50. For youths, seniors and the disabled, the basic cash fare will increase
by 15 cents—from 85 cents to $1; and likewise their 10-Ride tickets will
increase from $8.50 to $10. Also their transbay fares will increase from $1.70
to $2. But there is no change in the cost of
the 31-Day passes for youth, seniors and the disabled.
Those passes
remain at their current price of $15 for youths and $20 for seniors and the
disabled.

The only dissenting vote on the fare increase came from Board member Greg Harper.

"It’s so modest, it doesn’t address our big problem," Harper was quoted as saying in the Contra Costa Times.

Some advocates agreed, but acknowledge the ongoing financial crises facing transit agencies makes it difficult. 

"It’s a disgrace that a transit agency serving predominantly low-income
and working class people has to raise fares in the middle of an
economic crisis. But, the state’s repeated raid of dedicated transit
funds have made fare hikes an inevitability for AC Transit and for
public transportation agencies across California," said Carli Paine, the transportation program director at Transform.

Also on July 1st, the cost of Muni’s monthly fast pass will increase from $45 to $55, and other Bay Area transit agencies are facing similar scenarios. Santa Rosa City Bus blog has a very readable agency-by-agency breakdown today.

Flickr photo: Susan Decker

  • Ridership is the highest it’s been in 50 years. Where is the disconnect? Sacramento? Washington? All of the above?

  • Responding to Mikesonn–A number of years ago, the federal government stopped supporting transit operations (the funds that are needed to pay for fuel, maintenance, drivers– all the things that make the buses go). And, over the past several years, our state government has repeatedly siphoned away dedicated transit operating funds. This leaves transit operators like AC dry. As you mention, ridership has reached record levels– making it more ridiculous for the state to raid funds. Yet they have– the worst part is that in this year’s budget they zeroed out funding for public transit operations for the next five years to come! We’re working on some long term solutions up in Sacramento. Check out: http://transformca.org/campaign/state-budget

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