The Connect Transit board voted 4-0 Tuesday to delay a 25-cent per ride fare hike until Jan. 1.
The fare increase was supposed to start this month, but was delayed to Oct. 1. In an interview with WGLT, General Manager Isaac Thorne said a third delay allows the 'Connect to the Future Working Group' time to review the plan and Connect’s finances.
The working group met for the second time on Saturday.
“They’re looking at where we’re at today, where we want to be in the future. And we want to give them time to look at Connect Transit, all of the studies we’ve done over the last few years, familiarize themselves with that, before they have to make a decision right away on what should we do with the fares,” Thorne told WGLT.
The transit board has considered increasing fares from $1 to $1.25 since the start of 2019.
“Typically, inflation runs about 2%. So, 2% over 12 years is 24%,” Thorne said. “So us going from $1 to $1.25 for a fare increase is right about where we should have been inflation-wise.”
That’s without compounding inflation rates, which Thorne said would likely make the fare rate significantly higher.
The Connect Transit working group will meet two more times as a whole before presenting recommendations to the board in October. Delaying the fare increase until January allows some flex in that deadline.
Connect Transit Board Chairman Mike McCurdy is also WGLT's Program Director.
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