The TriMet board had a public hearing Wednesday on a proposed plan to phase in a 60-cent fare increase during the next two years, reported the Oregonian. The new plan is less than the 49-cent increase the board scrapped six months ago, which called for LIFT tickets to increase to $3 from $1.85 over the next three years.
However. disabled LIFT customers said at the hearing that the revamped fare hikes would still put a burden on their tight budgets, according to the Oregonian. The state’s largest transit agency is grappling with a $17 million budget shortfall and hopes the increasing fares would help bridge that gap.
The American with Disabilities Act mandates the program, which has grown 37 percent in the past decade, according to TriMet officials. At $1.85, the one-way LIFT fare is lower than many other similar services on the West Coast, the Oregonian reported.
Under the ADA, TriMet could raise the price of a single-ride LIFT ticket to up to $4.80. TriMet’s proposal, which goes up for a board vote Feb. 22, would institute two 30-cent increases, on in April and the other in April 2013. That would bring LIFT on par with the $2.40 charged for all-zone cash tickets on fixed routes. Under the plan, monthly LIFT passes would increase to $62 from the current $52 in April and to $72 in 2013. A 20-ride punch card would go up $10 to $47 next spring.
–Photo by TriMet, Flickr Creative Commons