Fayette transportation fees may increase with costs
Author: Judy Kroeger
Source: Tribune Review
Date: June 7, 2008
Increased operating costs, driven by rising fuel prices, have forced Fayette Area Coordinated Transportation to propose a fare increase.
PennDOT must approve the increases, which could go into effect July 1.
Shared ride fares would increase by 30 cents. The client pays 15 percent under the program. The base fare of $1.25 would rise by 15 cents to $1.40. Rates to Pittsburgh would rise 12 percent -- from $5.60 to $7.85, depending on where riders board and exit.
Monthly passes would increase by 12 percent. A monthly pass for Fayette County costs $40. It would increase to $45, while a Pittsburgh pass would increase from $200 to $225.
FACT last raised rates in 2006, the first increase since 2000.
Effective July 1, an additional Saturday route will be added to Masontown and a stop at the Masontown Shop 'n Save will be added. One route will be dropped because of declining ridership -- the 10:30 a.m. trip to Pittsburgh.
A new user's guide will be published July 1. It will include policies and procedures and eligibility guidelines for the shared ride program.
Michelle Grant Shumar, FACT director, said the organization has received reports of its funding for the fiscal year 2008-2009, effective July 1. FACT expects to receive $623,150 in federal money, $500,082 in state money and $339,900 in local money, for a total of $1.46 million.
In addition, FACT expects to receive capital assistance: $219,597 in federal money, $45,763 in state money and $9,163 in local money, for a total of $274,523.
The capital funds will be used to buy a staff vehicle for bus maintenance away from the garage, to install mobile onboard terminal devices to track the locations of all vehicles in real time and install additional bus signs and shelters. Shumar said FACT has purchased six used shelters and is renovating them.
Capital funds will be used to build an additional bus storage facility in the rear of the Park and Ride lot on Airport Road.
Shumar said ridership for Fayette fixed routes has remained steady, with nearly 120,000 riders in 2007. All but the 10:30 a.m. Pittsburgh route has shown great increase in ridership, with 963 riders per month. The Pittsburgh runs began in 2006 with an average of 60 riders each month.
FACT owns 40 buses. With outside contractors, the system runs 67 buses daily. FACT recently purchased six new buses for $300,000, which will be used for both local and Pittsburgh runs.