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:
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.