Price for a bus ride to go up in ‘08

       Westsiders, who are among the most prolific bus riders in the Mountain Metro Transit system, will join the rest of the area in paying higher fares in 2008.
       City Council approved a 25-cent increase, bringing the cost per trip to $1.50, at its meeting Nov. 27.
       The actual cost for each rider per trip is $6, according to Sherre Ritenour, the city's Transit Services Division manager. Government funding subsidizes the rest of the cost, she told council.
       Another fare increase will be for paratransit riders, who require special bus service because of physical disabilities. Their cost per trip will increase from $2 to $2.50
       The actual cost per trip is $18.37 (also government-subsidized), she said.
       Both fare increases are the first in eight years. Ritenour added that at public meetings on the issue, the numbers came out to 60 percent opposed and 40 percent in favor.
       Council member Randy Purvis, a Westside resident, said he thought the increases were “reasonable considering the amount of time [since the last ones].”
       Mayor Lionel Rivera noted that rising gas costs have also increased transit expenses.
       Council member Jerry Heimlicher, whose District 3 includes the older Westside, sought to cut the paratransit increase in half, believing it was too big of a hike at one time. Only council member/Westsider Tom Gallagher supported Heimlicher's failed motion to that effect. Such a reduction would have reduced anticipated general fund income for 2008 by $36,000, according to Acting City Manager Michael Anderson.

Westside Pioneer article