Public Hearing on Fare Changes & Policies Set for April 27
On Wednesday, April 27, the AC Transit Board of Directors will hold a public hearing from 4:00 p.m. to at least 6:00 p.m. to receive comments on a proposed fare structure, a schedule of fare increases, and other fare changes (including fare changes for Dumbarton Express service). The public has many options for offering comments before or at the hearing.
All local and transbay cash fares were last raised in July 2009. Adult pass prices increased at the same time. The youth pass price was last changed in 2002, when it was lowered from $27 to $15. The senior/disabled pass price has remained at $20 since 2003.
During the last year, AC Transit staff, Board of Directors, and the public have been engaged in a process to develop a comprehensive Fare Policy. All aspects of AC Transit’s fare system have been under review, with the aim of making fares and pass prices more logical and equitable, and the fare-change process more rational and predictable. Hundreds of bus riders and other interested members of the public gave their input during an outreach period this February.
On March 9, the Board of Directors received a report on this input, along with staff’s recommendation that a public hearing be held to receive comments on the following proposals:
Proposed Fare Structure
• Establish the local adult cash fare as the “base fare.”
• Set monthly pass prices at 36 times the relevant cash fare for adult, youth, and senior/disabled.
• Set transbay fares at 2 times the local fare (cash and pass).
• Set discount fares (youth, senior/disabled) at 50 percent of the adult fare (cash and pass).
Proposed Schedule of Fare Increases (See table of proposed fares)
• Maintain relationships among different fare types when fares increase, keeping the fare structure understandable. Set cash prices for easy coinage.
• Establish a 10-year cycle of gradual increases, raising the base fare 25 cents every 5 years.
• Schedule increases in a 2-year/3-year cycle, with the base fare rising by 10 cents in Year 1 (for Years 1 and 2) and by 15 cents in Year 3 (for Years 3, 4 and 5), etc.
• Increase youth and senior/disabled pass prices gradually to reach alignment with the proposed 36-ride rate in Year 8.
• Retain the local adult 31-day pass price at $80 until it is aligned with the proposed 36-ride rate in Year 3.
Proposed New Fare Media
• Implement a 7-day pass priced at 10 times the cash fare for local adult, transbay adult, local youth, and local senior/disabled, available only on Clipper cards.
Proposed Transfer Change
• Consider providing free, multiple-use, and/or extended-time transfers for Clipper users. Retain 25-cent transfer charge and two-hour/one-use policy for cash riders.
Proposed EasyPass Pricing Increase
• Adjust pricing matrices for EasyPass employer, residential, and college programs by 5 percent. (See tables of current and proposed prices.)
Proposed Fare Changes for Dumbarton Express Service
Proposed Dumbarton Express fares are the same as those proposed for AC Transit. Any changes to Dumbarton Express fares would also need approval by BART, SamTrans, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, and Union City Transit.
Board of Directors Decision
Staff will compile all the comments received before and at the hearing, and prepare responses. The comments and responses, along with any staff-recommended adjustments to the proposals, will then be presented to the board at its May 11 or May 25 meeting. If the board chooses to act at that time, it may set any fare at or below the level proposed, or keep any fare at its current level. Any fare changes adopted would likely go into effect August 2011 or later.
- Speaking or submitting written comments at the public hearing
- Submitting written comments by 6:00 p.m., April 27:
- Leaving comments in a voicemail message by 6:00 p.m., April 27, by calling (510) 891-7293
Getting to the Public Hearing
AC Transit’s General Offices are located at 1600 Franklin Street in Oakland, one block from Broadway and 17th Street. All bus lines serving downtown Oakland stop within walking distance. The 19th Street BART station is also one block away. To plan your trip, check individual bus schedules and maps, use the regional 511 Trip Planner, or call 511 (and say, “AC Transit”). The hearing location is wheelchair accessible.
Foreign language or sign language interpreters can be provided upon request. Please contact the AC Transit District Secretary’s Office at (510) 891-7207 by 5:00 p.m., Friday, April 22, to make arrangements. For TDD for hearing impaired, call 711, California Relay Service, and specify (510) 891-4700.