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June 18, 2004

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Publication Date: Friday, June 18, 2004

Transit fares hiked Transit fares hiked (June 18, 2004)

Bus, light rail changes will take place next year

By Candice Shih

Some bus riders will be paying up to 63 percent more for their passes now that the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) board of directors has passed new fare increases. The fee hikes, approved June 3, will take effect on Jan. 1, 2005.

All of the fare categories will see increases with the exception of the single rides for seniors and the disabled. A single adult ticket will change from $1.50 to $1.75, with monthly passes increasing from $52.50 to $61.25.

"Historically, VTA and our predecessor were underpricing certain fare categories," said VTA spokeperson Anne-Catherine Vinickas.

VTA recovers about 13 percent of its costs from fares but wants to be earning 20 to 25 percent, she added.

"Reaching that (fare box recovery rate) is a noble goal, but we think they're trying to reach it too fast," said Christopher Lepe, South Bay organizer for the Transportation and Land Use Coalition. He joined about 100 people who attended the VTA board meeting to protest the fee hikes.

Lepe was particularly disturbed by the monthly fare increases for youth riders, which are going up from $30 to $49, and said he will continue to protest to VTA.

VTA, the transit agency that operates buses and light rail trains in Santa Clara County, has been reviewing its finances in an effort to stabilize them. The dot-com bust and high unemployment have been credited with its decrease in revenues.

VTA last increased fares in August 2003 and will continue to reexamine them on a regular basis, said Vinickas. The transit operator's board is also considering putting a new county tax on a future ballot to help fund public transit.

E-mail Candice Shih at [email protected]

Single rides
  Current fare New fare
Adult $1.50 $1.75
Youth $1.25 $1.50
Senior/Disabled $0.75 $0.75
Express (Adult) $3.00 $3.50

Day passes


$4.50 $5.25


$3.75 $4.50


$1.75 $2.25

Express (Adult)

$9.00 $10.50
Monthly passes
Adult $52.50 $61.25
Youth $30.00 $49.00
Senior/Disabled $17.50 $26.00
Express (Adult) $90.00 $122.50



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