Transit system eyes fare hikes, park-and-ride lot fees

By From page A5 | January 23, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Officials at Fairfield and Suisun Transit are proposing a new fare structure for local bus routes in the two cities.

Those officials propose fare hikes as well for local paratransit service and the four SolanoExpress intercity routes operated by the transit system. Also under consideration is a paid parking program at park-and-ride lots in Fairfield.

FAST officials seek to boost the regular fare for local routes from $1.50 to $1.75, the local paratransit fare from $3 to $3.50, and the intercity paratransit fare from $5.50 to $6.50. These fares have remained unchanged since 2006, according to a press release from Fairfield’s Public Works Department.

The proposal calls for annual increases to the cost to SolanoExpress users, with one-way intercity fares to increase 3 percent a year and at the same time reduce the discounts to those who buy 31-day passes from 43 percent in the first year to 27 percent in the seventh year. These proposed fare hikes are the first on the SolanoExpress routes operated by FAST since 2009, according to the release.

Officials said the proposed changes are designed to keep up with projected increases in operating costs, which includes the cost to replace buses as needed. The new rates will also allow riders to use the new Clipper universal transit card later this year, according to the city.

Plans to begin charging for parking at Fairfield park-and-ride lots are designed in part to free up parking at the Fairfield Transportation Center, according to the release. The new fees will also help pay for parking lot maintenance.

Some fare cuts are contained in the overall proposal. For example, the plan calls for a new short-hop fare for short trips on Routes 30 and 40.

If approved, the new fares take effect July 1. Fairfield would implement the park-and-ride lot fees this fall after work on the Oliver Road lot is completed.

Three public meetings are planned:

  • 1 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Fairfield Transportation Center, 2000 Candenasso Drive in Fairfield.
  • 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Ulatis Community Center, 1000 Ulatis Drive in Vacaville.
  • 1 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Fairfield Transportation Center in Fairfield.

Public hearings on the fare changes are scheduled Feb. 12 at the Solano Transportation Authority board meeting and Feb. 18 at the Fairfield City Council meeting.

For more information on Fairfield and Suisun Transit and the proposed fare changes, visit www.fasttransit.org or call 434-3800.

Reach Glen Faison at 427-6925 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GlenFaison.

Glen Faison

Glen Faison

Glen Faison joined the Daily Republic as managing editor in September 2009. He previously worked as a reporter and editor for daily and weekly newspapers in the San Joaquin Valley for 20-plus years. His experience includes time as editor of the Golden Eagle, a military paper serving the Lemoore Naval Air Station. He graduated from Fresno State University with a bachelor's degree in journalism and bleeds Bulldogs red. He is an avid fan of the NFL's Washington team, and attended the 1988 NFC Championship Game against the Minnesota Vikings at RFK Stadium. He's a member of the Fairfield-Suisun Twilight Rotary Club and a board member for the Solano County Library Foundation. He married his wife, Jill, in 2005, and has three children: Courtni, Tyler and Hayli.

Discussion | 4 comments

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  • The MisterJanuary 23, 2014 - 6:38 am

    So the regional non-governmental organization called the STA built the transportation center's park and ride to encourage people to "go green" and use public transport... but too many people use it so now they have to start charging for park and ride to discourage a portion of the people to NOT use it. What a bunch of bone-heads!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Suisun1January 23, 2014 - 8:11 am

    FAST, freeze the fare! Why raise the prices on hard-working commuters and disabled persons, especially when bussing means less traffic, less pollution, and more money for hard-workers to spend in the local economy. I'm organizing people to FREEZE the FARE. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Freeze-the-Fare-FAST/644381835619662

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Suisun1January 23, 2014 - 8:45 am

    Freeze the Fare! Bus riders reduce traffic, make the air cleaner with fewer cars and support the local economy. Why make it more expensive to get on a bus???

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterJanuary 23, 2014 - 10:36 am

    The bait-and-switch of Agenda 21.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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