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Spokane bus fares to increase Jan. 1, 2010

Fri., June 26, 2009, 9:49 a.m.

The Spokane Transit Authority board approved a transit fare increase proposal Thursday that’s undergone months of study and comment.

It is the first fare increase since 2002.

The increase will occur in three phases beginning Jan. 1, 2010, when a regular single fare goes from $1 to $1.25 and from 50 to 75 cents for paratransit.

A second increase starts in 2011 when regular fares go to $1.50 and paratransit fares go to $1.25. A year later, the paratransit fare goes to $1.50 to match the regular bus fare.

Monthly passes will increase incrementally as well.

Susan Meyer, chief executive officer, said the fare increase allows the transit system to balance the fares with the amount of subsidy provided by taxpayers.

Only about 17 percent of the cost of running the transit system is paid through fares. The increases will bring the level of fare revenue to about 20 percent and help offset lagging sales tax collections, which are the main source of revenue for STA.

The fare changes resulted from the work of STA’s Citizen Advisory Committee dating back to 2008.

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