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AC Transit Hikes Fares By CASSIE NORTON

Tuesday June 21, 2005

After months of deliberation, AC Transit’s Board of Directors has settled on a fare hike in an attempt to offset a projected $40 million budget deficit. 

It has been three years since the last basic fare hike, and the cost of transfers has not changed since 1990. 

The decision holds youth, senior, and disability passes at their present rates and the cost of transfers will remain at 25 cents, but adult fares will rise from $1.50 to $1.75 and 31-day adult passes from $60 to $70. Transbay passes will go from $3 to $3.50 for adults and from $1.50 to $1.70 for seniors, youths, and persons with disabilities. The price of a transbay 31-day pass will increase from $100 to $116. 

The fare hikes are effective Sept. 6. 

Without fare increases, AC Transit General Manager Rick Fernandez said that the agency would be forced to consider reducing both personnel and operations, after a 17 percent reduction in services last year. 

Directors Joe Wallace (Richmond), Hayashi (Hayward), Chris Peeples (at-large), and Rebecca Kaplan (at-large) voted in favor of the modified proposal. Peeples emphasized that because the AC Transit works on a grid system that has been adversely affected by service cuts, forcing people to make more transfers, the agency had a responsibility to keep transfer prices low. 

Directors Greg Harper and Dolores Jaquez, both representing Oakland, and Director Joe Bischofberger (Newark and Fremont) voted against the measure, saying they were in favor of raising the price of transfers. 

AC Transit passes are available at Long’s Drugs, Andronico’s, Berkeley Bowl, Elephant Pharmacy, and the AC Transit offices in Oakland and San Francisco.