Annapolis Transit Fares To Increase 50%

| January 28, 2011 | 0 Comments

Mayor Joshua J. Cohen announces that as Annapolis Transit has followed through on its commitment to provide more reliable service to its riders, the City must propose to raise bus fares and implement other services changes. These proposals reflect the transit system’s continuing efforts to improve efficiencies and performance as well as reduce costs.

After careful consideration of public input on a proposed series of service changes by the Mayor and Transportation Director Richard A. Newell, legislation will be sent to the City Council next month that will call for:

  • Raising the base bus fare from $1 to $1.50 for most riders; eliminating free transfers; and introducing discounted weekly, monthly and yearly passes in absence of transfers
  • Eliminating the Free Fare Zone, which runs from Compromise Street to Westgate Circle and covers Duke of Gloucester, Main and West streets as well as Church Circle.

The City has rejected the following proposals:

  • Eliminating the C-40 route between Edgewater and Anne Arundel County Community College
  • Changing the start time of the bus service from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.
  • Eliminating transit services on all holidays that City administrative offices are closed

The fare increase will allow the City to better manage costs, increase service efficiency and provide enhanced performance to its customers. The Free Fare Zone is not used frequently, and it is difficult for the bus system to limit a passenger’s travel to match the zone.

These proposals build on Mayor Cohen’s larger plan to deliver more effective transit service at reduced cost to the City while enhancing customer service. The City took a major step forward in that initiative in November, with the roll-out of the new “arterial” bus system that provides several transfer points throughout the city and offers more comprehensive coverage of Annapolis. Additional service improvements are planned for later this year.

As part of the transition from the “pulse” system to the arterial system, the C-40 route has been rebranded as the Gold Route and now provides service to from Edgewater through Westfield Mall to Anne Arundel County Community College in Arnold.

“We have taken our time to consider these proposals, because our number one concern was to address the service deficiencies that many riders emphatically raised at the July public hearing,” Mayor Cohen said. “We have made great strides through the roll-out of the new bus route system and Mr. Newell’s leadership to deliver more reliable, responsive and punctual service. The City must raise fares to better manage our costs, and I hope our riders see the value of the service we are providing.

“It is important that we continue to provide service to the Community College, and it’s absolutely imperative that we maintain our hours of operations and continue service on days when City offices are closed,” the mayor added. “Many of our riders made clear at the July meeting that they rely on Annapolis Transit to get to their jobs, their medicals appointments and to school. We will not compromise on that commitment.”
The timetable for the bill’s introduction has not been set. The Transportation Committee and the citizen-run Transportation Board will review the bill before the City Council holds a public hearing.

For more background on the initial package of proposals, go to: http://bit.ly/hhckGR.

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