Citilink Woes, Post 2

A follow up to last week’s Citilink Woes post.

An article by the Journal Gazette’s Ben Lanka in last Friday’s paper states:

The board was presented several options to increase fares, which for regular passengers are $1. But even raising the fares to $1.25 – the rate in Indianapolis – would generate only about $90,000 in six months.

So, this would equate to $180,000 in a year, right?  If the rate would be increased to $1.50, that would make it $360,000, or $1.75 – $520,000.  This is assuming that the initial $90,000 is the extra $.25 per passenger. 

The other part of that sentence that caught my eye was the phrase, “the rate in Indianapolis.”  So, I did some digging.  IndyGo, the bus system in Indianapolis, had 10,033,477 riders with total operating expenses of $50,450,249.  If you divide this out, their operating expense per passenger trip is $5.02 vs $4.78 here in Fort Wayne.  So, we’re in a little bit better shape than Indy.  However, these are based on 2006 figures.  Last year was the start of the real gasoline price hikes with an even greater impact in this field this year.

What bothers me most about this entire situation, is why raise the rates only $.25?  That’s hardly worth the effort.  I guess the real question is why the Citilink Board seems so resistant to increasing fares?  And why the public seems to think it ok to subsidize public transportation at these rates.  The problem is that at this point, much more than a quarter rate hike probably would damage their riders.  However, if fares had been increasing somewhat over the last year or two especially, it might not be such a shock.  Something has to give, and it’s not going to be an increase in property taxes as that avenue has been cut off by our Governor.

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