Comment 109940

By StephenBarath (registered) | Posted March 04, 2015 at 15:10:12

I do not understand why they would be proposing to raise all additional funds from fares. As mentioned in the article, it is an accepted principle that the property tax levy pays for transit (our farebox recovery is less than half right now), so why should the levy not pay for part of the proposed improvements?

Fares last went up in 2010. I can understand we may be due for an increase. But these are not insignificant increases. Since 2010, the Consumer Price Index has increased by about 9%. The proposal is for the adult ticket price to increase by 12.5 percent; for the cash fare to increase by 17.6% (double the rate of CPI increases over the last five years); and for the monthly pass to increase by 13.8% for adults (and significantly more for seniors). The proposal then calls for increases (for adult passes) in excess of 4% every year thereafter for the next three, and in the future “annual fare increases of at least CPI.” I assume that means transit riders should expect above-inflationary fare increases from now on, and should plan accordingly.

This seems to be adding insult to injury. The riders who will pay these increased fares are the people who have stuck by the system even as it has offered declining utility. Now, they are being asked to fund- alone- all of the proposed improvements, which they won’t start to experience for several years. Some of them will have in the meantime stopped using transit because of the added cost, either making investments in other forms of transportation (I mean, in some cases buying a car and adding costs to the municipal budget that way), or else just making new habits that do not involve transit.

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