I recognize that it’s likely a done deal that AC Transit will raise bus fares, but I still think it makes sense to attend the public hearing tomorrow to let the directors know how this will hurt bus riders.
I’ve unfortunately not had time to look at the proposals until today so I’ve only briefly reviewed them. Turns out that there are four similar but slightly different proposals that staff have submitted to the AC Transit Board of Directors. All four raise one-time bus fares to $2.00, but they differ in how they effect youth passes and transfers. If you’re a bus rider, I recommend checking out the table on AC Transit’s site that lays out pretty clearly the different proposals.
Surprisingly to me, proposals three and four actually include some price reductions for transfers. Under proposal three, transfers would be free for 1.5 hours for one use! Under proposal four, cash transfers would cost $0.25 but transfers with Translink would be free for 2 hours for UNLIMITED uses! Though I only use transfers once or twice a week, I know that many bus riders (especially those without cars) depend on transfers and many gripe about having to pay full fare for a second transfer. So the fourth proposal would be especially helpful to those riders. Also, I think if transfers were free, I and many others would consider the bus more often as a means of transit for errands, instead of borrowing a car.
I’ll be attending the hearing tomorrow to speak out against any fare increase but also to speak in support to the transfer fare reductions if regular fare increases must be instituted.
Wednesday, May 21st @ 4:00 pm (until at least 7:00 pm)
Oakland City Council Chambers, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
(Right off the 12th Street BART stop and accessible by many major bus lines.)
I’ll provide some more analysis on the various proposals later in the week (including how this fits into broader transit issues) and a recap of the hearing, but until then, if you’re really interested, check out the AC Transit staff memo (PDF) on the fare increase proposals.