AC Transit bus passengers could get discounts and better ways to pay for their bus trips under a new fare policy that the agency’s board of directors will consider at public hearing on Wednesday. After cancelling a scheduled fare increase last July, the Board is now weighing the new fare practice which promises improved bus service and even greater passenger benefits.
Among other things, the plan includes a local Day Pass, elimination of paper transfers, and discounts on local Clipper Card fares. All cash fares would remain the same.
“It’s not often that a transit agency enacts a different fare structure that does not include a fare increase,” said AC Transit General Manager David Armijo. “But this is what we are doing in an effort to attract more riders by making fares less expensive and service more efficient.”
Key to the plan would the advent of Day Pass, wider usage of the Clipper Card, and the elimination of paper transfers to thwart fare box delays, speed up passenger boardings and, consequently, reduce commute times.
The Day Pass would allow unlimited local rides all day and cost $5 for adults and $2.50 for youth, seniors, and the disabled. The pass would be available with either Clipper Card or cash.
After Clipper Card users have paid fares of $5 (or $2.50 for youth, seniors and the disabled), the Day Pass would be activated and no additional funds would be deducted during the day. To entice more use of the card, card users would get a 10-cent or 5-cent discount, respectively, off their fares.
With cash, bus riders could buy the Day Pass when they board the bus and then ride all day — as many times as they want — without paying again. If the Day Pass is not purchased, a full fare would be required each time one boards the bus. At any rate, paper transfers would be unnecessary and eliminated.