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AC Transit considers new fare policies

Submitted by on 1, February 16, 2011 – 12:04 amNo Comment

AC Transit is seeking the public’s input on a raft of proposed new fare policies, including plans to schedule regular fare increases over the next decade and to change the cost of 31-day passes. Changes could be adopted by AC Transit’s board as early as this summer.

The bus agency is holding a public meeting to gather input on the proposed changes  from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, February 17 at their general offices, which are at 1600 Franklin Street. If you’re interested in telling them what you think about the proposed changes, you can also e-mail, fax or mail a letter with your thoughts or a copy of a form the agency has created to gather input; information on how to do those things is available on AC Transit’s website.

AC Transit’s leaders want the board to consider planned fare increases in order to make changes more predictable for the agency and riders and budgeting easier for the agency. A proposed scenario would see fares rising 50 cents over 10 years, with 10- and 15-cent fare hikes in years one, three, six and eight.

The agency’s leaders are also proposing to change the fare structure for its 31-day passes so that adults, youth and seniors and disabled people would all pay the same multiple on their fares. The plan under consideration would reduce the cost of local adult passes slightly but more than double the cost of local youth passes and nearly double the cost of passes for seniors and disabled people. Adjustments could be made during a multi-year period.

Adult 31-day passes have risen to $80 from $49 in 2000, while youth passes were cut from $27 to $15 in 2000 and senior and disabled passes have cost $20 since 2002.

The fare policy proposal would retain youth and senior fares at half the cost of adult fares, and would keep Transbay service at its current price point of double the cost of local fares. But AC Transit’s fare structure would encourage the use of an electronic Clipper card.

Other changes the bus agency is considering include changing the way transfers can be used, increasing their price or eliminating them entirely, changing 31-day passes to calendar-month passes and changing the cost of seven-day passes.

AC Transit officials hope to present a fare policy proposal to the agency’s board of directors by March 9, and to have a public hearing on the proposal set for late April. Changes could take effect as soon as July.

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