June 30, 2011
Get ready for a more expensive bus ride. LINK Transit is set to hike most fares and slash discounts on Friday, July 1st.
Regular cash fares, for example, will go up $0.25 to $1.25 for a single zone ticket, or $0.50 to $2.50 for a two-zone ride. The reduced fare day pass will be eliminated, as will the annual pass. A monthly 2-zone pass will increase from $50 to $80.
The fare increases were approved in May by the Link Transit Board of Directors. It is projected that this fare increase will generate an additional $160,000 annually, which will help to offset the loss in funding due to reduced sales tax collections over the past two years, as well as reductions in Federal grant funding. Sales tax makes up about 70% of Link’s budget, and collections are down approximately 18% from 2008 levels.
LINK Marketing Coordinator Eric West said some confusion over the fare increase is already arising, so he joined us by phone to clarify some of the changes. One of the more controversial changes is the elimination of the LinkPlus monthly pass, which serves disables and special needs riders.
Also effective Friday: there will be no more free rides across the Sellars Bridge on Routes 19, 23 and 25. These have been provided through a partnership with the WSDOT while construction was underway on the bridge. West said the free rides may be offered again when construction resumes on the Sellars Bridge later this year.