News

Big changes proposed to bus fare

by AMANDA WINTERS

Sequim Gazette

 

Clallam Transit is proposing big price hikes across the board and the public gets a chance to weigh in Oct. 17.

 

In order to balance the transit system’s operating budget, nine proposals were developed within a package including raising bus fares, consolidating passes and changing what people pay to ride on the paratransit line.

 

General Manager Terry Weed said the $7.4 million operating budget is $250,000 in the hole and Clallam Transit can’t continue drawing from reserves as it has for the past four years.

 

In February, nearly $188,000 in route and service cuts were approved to address the problem but Weed said more measures must be taken to address the shortfall.

 

Clallam Transit is 85-percent dependent on sales tax revenue, which took a dip during the recession and still hasn’t recovered, he said. Additionally, rising fuel costs pose a serious long-term challenge.

 

Proposed fare increases to monthly passes are as follows: Adult base and disabled/youth premium passes would increase from $27 to $36; disabled, youth and senior base passes would be $18; adult premium passes would increase from $36 to $54; and senior premium passes would increase from $18 to $36.

 

A requirement for senior and disabled persons to pay a $3 fee and complete an eligibility certification also is proposed. The certification would enable the holder to pay a reduced fare on multiple systems within the region, including state ferries.

 

Paratransit riders would be charged $3 per mile for transportation beyond three-quarters of a mile from fixed routes. Currently, paratransit riders pay a flat $1 fee for the extended service.

 

A public hearing on the nine proposals included in the package is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17, at the Clallam Transit System office, 830 W. Lauridsen Blvd., Port Angeles. For more information call 452-1315.

 

Reach Amanda Winters at awinters@sequimgazette.com.

 


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