AC Transit Raises Fares; More Belt-Tightening to Come

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Friday March 13, 2009 - 05:56:00 PM

AC Transit, battered by the economic downturn, is raising its fares. At a March 4 meeting, AC Transit announced a 25-cent increase for regular bus fares and a 15-cent hike for youth, senior and disabled fares.  

Monthly passes for youth, seniors and the diabled will remain unchanged 

The new fares go into effect July 1, when regular fares will rise from $1.75 to $2, and youth/senior/disabled fares from 85 cents to $1. 

While the updated fare rate is expected to raise $5.7 million a year for AC Transit, it will not be enough to bring the district out of its financial hole. The district is projecting an operating deficit in excess of $20 million for the current fiscal year. District reserves will cover the shortfall this year, but the district faces the possibility of running out of money sometime in the fiscal year beginning in July if it does not institute service cuts or find other sources of revenue.  

The 25-cent fare raise was originally proposed by the district last year, but AC Transit officials held off until after the passage of last November's Measure VV parcel tax increase. During the VV campaign, AC Transit officials promised voters that if they voted for VV, the district would not raise the rates for monthly passes for youth, seniors, and the disabled.