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A dime more per ride? SunTran proposes fare hike

Posted at 3:52 PM, May 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-04 13:19:48-04
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Riders step onto SunTran buses about 52 thousand times a day.  Now they may be in for a fare increase.
The bus system is considering raising fares about a dime per ride this year and fifteen cents on top of that next year.
SunTran runs almost fifty bus routes and special van services too.  Now it's asking Tucson City Council to raise fares and re-work some routes.
Single tickets would cost about an extra dime.  But regular riders LIKE Marrero Moore say even that can be too much.
"For people that live on the street it is a lot.  It is.  A dime to certain folks, who work a nine to five, it ain't nothing.  They throw that in the change jar every night.  Us, it means between eating and not eating."
The base fare is $1.50 now.  The proposal would boost it to $1.60 next year and $1.75 the year after that.
People with low incomes can qualify for discount fares.  They are 50 cents now.  The proposal would kick them to sixty cents, then 75 the year after.
Frequent riders often use a 30 day pass.
The standard cost is $42.00.   The proposal would raise it to $60.00, then $65.00
The economy pass for low income riders costs $15.00 now.  It would jump $3.00 to $18.00 next year, then another $4.00 to $22.00.
SunTran has begun a series of public hearings to brief people on the plan and meet city and Federal requirements.
The company says it's been five years since the last fare hike and it needs to keep the system strong, while the City of Tucson tries to reduce what it pays to support the transit system.
Kandi Young of SunTran says, "This is in response to an effort to reduce the City of Tucson's General Fund contribution to various departments one of which being transit."
Tucson City Council will decide on the fares after a hearing in August.  SunTran will hold a series of hearings in the meantime.  You can find more detail on the fares, route changes, the hearings and have a chance to comment at this link.