RTS officials say it's the biggest reason for their 1.5 million dollar projected deficit next year forcing them to propose higher fares and less frequent service.
"I'm very concerned that the changes will greatly affect public transportation ridership with RTS," said RTS Advisory Board Spokesperson John-David Feldman.
RTS proposes raising full fares by a quarter, to a $1.25, and half fares by a dime to sixty cents about a 25 percent increase. All day and monthly passes have a proposed hike of 50 percent from $2 to $3 and from $30 to $45.
Plus, RTS has proposed cutting the frequency of some routes on Saturdays and late nights.
"We want to minimize the impact of the public," said Gainesville Public Information Spokesperson Bob Woods. "We want to continue to provide the quality of service the public has come to expect from RTS, and we believe we've come up with the plan that will do that."
Feldman says the proposed rate hike will not rake the dollars. He estimates if ridership remains steady, it would raise fares as a revenue source for RTS from six percent to nine percent, which is not much compared to the effects the costs will have on riders.
"We need to actually take the bus fare as it is now, and decrease it," said Feldman. "We don't need to increase it. This is just a step in the wrong direction."
A proposal will likely be sent to City Commission at their July 28th meeting.
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