According to Assistant Executive Director for Operations Kimberley Fragola, the proposed changes would help the company’s current financial situation.
“We are struggling and I’m just offering that as some of the reasoning,” said Fragola.
Fragola says that ridership has plummeted since the pandemic, with the company only recovering to about 12% of their regular riders.
Additionally, Fragola says CATA went from bringing in 46% of their own funding, to now only 10%.
“We did receive stimulus money of about 20 plus million dollars. What that’s allowed us to do is keep the doors open this year and it’s going to help us get through these coming years. The prediction for the transit industry is that ridership won’t return normal for 3 or 4 years. So we’re trying to weather that storm until things are normal again,” said Fragola.
Some of the proposed changes would include hour reductions, like running Mon. – Sun., 8 a.m. – 12:30 a.m. as well as a two-year stepped fare increase. The fare would increase from $3.50 to $4.00 per one-way trip at this time, and would increase again in August 2022, to $4.25 per one-way trip.
“We’re trying to make adjustments that hopefully affect the least amount of people and can save us some money. So we’re trying to do the fringes,” said Director of Service Planning Chris Jordan.
A public hearing on the proposed service changes started at 6 p.m on June 8 for comments.
For a full look at the proposed changes, click here.
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