Most bus riders to pay more this fall

Mike Dinoffria, Special to the Daily Planet
Saturday June 29, 2002

AC Transit revamps its faresZ 


A day after Bay Area commuters saw BART fares and Golden Gate Bridge tolls rise, AC Transit released the specifics of its bus fare and pass-price increases. All East Bay Bus riders will pay higher fares starting Sept. 1, except for youth who will see a considerable discount. 

Late Thursday, the AC Transit Board of directors voted 4-2 to pass an amended plan that will hike adult fairs from $1.35 to $1.50. Discount fairs including seniors and the disabled, will go up a dime from 65 cents to 75 cents. Youth prices are currently, $1.35 and will be reduced to 75 cents.  

Transbay bus riders will see a sharpest fare increase. Commuting across the Bay Bridge will now be $3 instead of $2.50.  

The 10-ride book will undergo a slight makeover in addition to its increase. Instead of a book it will now be a prepaid electronic pass with each ride deducted from a magnetic card. The price will increase from $11.50 to $13, and the discount rate will go up from $5.50 to $6.50. The 31-day pass for adults will increase just a dollar, from $49 to $50, while the same pass for seniors and the disabled will go up two dollars to $15.  

AC Transit also created a day pass, which is a new option for East Bay bus riders. The $5 pass is good for unlimited rides and transfers within a 24 hour period. The discount rate for the new pass is $3. 

The first price change to go into effect will be the sharp decrease in price for the youth pass. Beginning August first passengers between the age of 5 and 17 will only pay $15 for the 31-day pass, down $12 from its old rate. A yearly pass of $150 dollars for youth riders is still in the works. It should be ready in late August, in time for the new school year, said AC Transit representative Mike Mills. The same yearly pass will be free for children who qualify for food vouchers. The criteria for eligibility of this pass are still being determined, and the transit service is still looking for support to subsidize the plan.  

AC Transit said that the objective of all the proposals is to generate more fare revenue because of a slump in sales tax revenues.