July 31--Fares for AC Transit bus riders go up Monday, adding a dime to the basic bus fare but a much heftier $5 per month increase in the youth pass.
The basic cash fare will increase from $2 to $2.10. The fare for youths, seniors and the disabled will rise from $1 to $1.05.
In the biggest change, AC Transit will raise the monthly youth pass from $15 to $20.
The monthly bus pass for Transbay service will rise from $132.50 to $151.20.
There will be no change in the monthly adult pass fee of $80 or the senior and disabled monthly pass cost of $20.
The AC Transit board voted May 11 to raise its fees in August, and stated its intent to adopt another three fare increases at regular intervals over the next eight years.
District officials said the district is struggling financially because of reductions in sales taxes, state take-aways of money and rising labor costs.
Youth advocates are sharply critical of the steep increase in the monthly youth pass. They said the $5 per month increase is a burden on low-income youths and could be a deterrence to attending school.
AC Transit staffers, however, said the youth pass fare is among the cheapest in the nation, and forces other bus riders to subsidize travel by those 18 and younger.
AC Transit supplies bus service to 13 cities and surrounding areas in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
To view staff reports on the increase, visit www.actransit.org
and click on "bus fares change Aug. 1."
Contact Denis Cuff at 925-943-8267. Follow him at Twitter.com/deniscuff. Read the Capricious Commuter at www.ibabuzz.com/transportation.
Copyright 2011 - Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, Calif.