Regional Transit officials say they need to increase basic fares from $1.50 to $2.00 and eliminate some routes to deal with increased costs and shrinking revenues.
But Barney Donnelly with the advocacy group Sacramento Mobility Coalition says raising fares will hurt low-income and disabled riders. “These are people for whom transportation is not merely a convenience, it’s not a choice between driving your SUV downtown and back at night, it’s really a necessity, it’s a lifeline for them and we think that that service has to be maintained.”
Donnelly says the district could avoid fare hikes by cutting costs in other areas such as high absenteeism among bus drivers and light-rail operators. “We think some of the major problems that RT is facing, were they to be resolved, might make it unnecessary to consider increasing fares and reducing service at the same time.”
But RT officials say the district is currently under funded for the amount of services offered. Monday's meeting is at 6 PM at the Sacramento City Council Chambers on I Street. A final decision on the fare increases is expected next month.