Wednesday, March 18, 2009

DART Fare Increase

DART had a fare increase about two years ago which brought the fare to the current $3.00 per day. DART now want to increase the fare to $4.00 dollars per day. So within 2 years the fare will almost double.
When I was on the DART Board, the financial plan showed a fare increase every five years and that seemed okay as long as it could be justified.
The fare box does not and will never pay for the service. All public transit (bus,rail and para-transit) is subsidized at different levels.
It would be okay to talk about a fare increase if DART had made sure that they looked at all alternatives to increasing the fares on transit dependent riders. DART has several hundred contract employees who ride the system for FREE. DART sells the most expensive passes ($800.00)to cities for $40.00 to pass on to their employees. DART pays over a million dollars a year to assist with shuttle service (SMU, T.I., UTD). DART spends over $500,000 per year on the McKinney Avenue Trolly. DART allows some college students to ride for free. DART runs what is called an "On-Call" service to areas that do not have enough ridership to justify a bus route. These are just some of the issues that need to be addressed before raising the fare.

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