Negotiations are scheduled to resume at 10 AM this morning.
The latest proposal for fare changes, in my mind, is unacceptable. My normal commute involves an express bus. The route it takes means it takes the same amount of time as the standard bus; the only advantage is the reduced number of riders and the fact that I don’t need to transfer.
The city’s latest proposed bus fares, however, would create a special monthly bus pass for express riders for $80. That’s more than double the $30 I pay now. Or, I could purchase a regular pass ($40) and pay up to $2 on each ride. For an average of 25 rides per month, that comes out to $90. Again, the increase in price is absurd. (Oh, and they’re cancelling free transfers as well.)
Seniors will experience an even greater rate hike. The city is proposing creating a monthly pass for $5. That’s equivalent to $120 every two years – $95 more than they pay now for their $25 semi-annual passes. I agree that seniors can afford to pay more, but not that much more.
$80 is too much for me to afford. Even $40 makes me hesitant. For $55 a month, I could become a Vanpool driver. I could leave from home later, ride more comfortably, and drive the van off-hours. Plus, insurance and maintenance is fully paid for.
TheBus and the city better watch out. They’re dangerously close to losing at least one customer.