Proposed bus fare increases anger riders

June 1, 2010

By KAREN VELIE

In a move to compensate for a 16-percent reduction in state funding, San Luis Obispo city staff is asking for higher bus fares, an end to free transfers from one bus to another and a reduction in trolley services in the city.

The proposed transit reductions are scheduled to be considered at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

“I don’t see why they have to raise the prices,” said Charles White, a regular bus rider when told of the proposal fare hikes. “It will devastate me because I am on a fixed income.”

San Luis Obispo transportation officials will ask the City Council to set a date for a hearing to discuss “transit fare modifications.” The proposed increases, which could go into effect on Sept 1, will raise the cost of a trip across town by as much as a 100 percent.

Staffers are requesting permission to raise standard fares from $1.25 to $1.50 and disabled fares from 60 cents to 75 cents, said John Webster, public works transit manager. Riders, who currently use free transfer passes from bus to bus, would have to pay the full rate for each transfer or purchase a $3 day pass, more than doubling the cost of riding the bus if the fare modifications are approved.

In addition, the downtown trolley, which currently runs Thursday through Sunday, would only operate on Thursdays.

Standard fares were increased from $1 to $1.25 and disabled and senior fares from 50 cents to 60 cents last September.

“In bad economic times, why increase fares?” Bus rider Clarence Troche asked. “Why not try to increase ridership. Basically they are discouraging people from riding the bus.”

Another bone of contention is why the city purchased a double-decker bus at a cost of more than $300,000 during a time of budget deficits.

The 14 foot high bus does not fit under railroad bridges and tree lined roads, such as Mill Street and Highland Drive. Because of this, the bus is unable to cover all but a portion of one existing route.

In addition, public works officials are planning to reconstruct the opening of the maintenance building to accommodate the two-story vehicle. Additional costs, such as hiring an outside firm to wash the bus because it will not fit in the city’s wash station, are also expected.

“They can’t manage their money and they lay it on us,” Troche said. “Less people will ride the bus and it will be less money for them.”


Loading...

22 Comments

  1. standup says:

    I would be curious to know the names of all the city idiots who were part of this decision. That goes from staff to council. What a bunch of inconsiderate weasels that have no concern for OUR money. Each and every one of them should be fired.

    (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
  2. Vagabond says:

    Thanks, good read, I just hope it’s right, I do love the Florida Keys.
    (kind of funny that the link was posted by someone who’s moniker is the Chumash word for tar ball)

    (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
  3. Paperboys says:

    Why don’t they raise the cost at the parking meters and garages and use that extra cash to back fill the money the state took away from the transportation system.
    Or why not lay off one of these high-priced bureaucrats at the city. Why do they always first turn to reducing services to the public before reducing their staffing levels.
    As someone who often rides the RTA buses, I can tell you without those buses, just the increased traffic from Cuesta students alone would be a huge impact on the city.
    As for the double-decker bus, That is so typical of the level of common sense that bureaucrats bring to the job. I guess it was too much work to go around and measure the overpasses and check for overhanging street trees before paying $300,000 for a bus. Then again what is $300,000 to the government? It’s not like it’s THEIR money they are wasting.
    Is this what we pay transportation planners for? Someone should be fired for that fiasco.

    (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down
  4. Vagabond says:

    If you want to attract the rich to ride a bus, then give them a reason to ride one.
    Comfortable seats with a table to put your laptop on with cup holders for the morning coffee, newspapers would be nice.
    Evening returns would offer wine or beer.
    Charge 5 bucks a seat, 2 bucks for coffee and five bucks for adult beverages.
    Hire waitpeople to assist.
    Hey, maybe that double decker could be put to some use, call it the Elite Express.

    (-4) 6 Total Votes - 1 up - 5 down
    • Cindy says:

      Beverages sounds like a nice idea, maybe they could have a vending machine station on the bus for coffee or cold drinks. Don’t know about alcohol though, when they arrive where they parked their car they have to drive themselves the mile or so home.

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
      • Vagabond says:

        The Elite Express picks up and delivers to your door!

        (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
        • cheseburger says:

          We finally agree on something put that three hundred thousand dollar heap, to good use,

          “Another bone of contention is why the city purchased a double-decker bus at a cost of more than $300,000 during a time of budget deficits.”
          Hell if we are going after top of the scale customers, lawyers, doctors, engineers, career politicians, sheriffs, sheriffs spokes people, under-sheriffs, people spending money that is not theirs to spend,(need I name them) I say we very eloquently, pack that pile of scrap metal full of long eared playboy bunnies, (real ones leased from the real playboy club), now that would surely bring the high paying customers from L.A. and S.F., if advertised correctly, and executed extremely professionally, this could bring revenue, well, incredibly beyond the average incite. And we won’t discriminate the poor can ride for free in the back of the bus, or a little wagon it could pull behind.

          (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
        • Cindy says:

          “The Elite Express picks up and delivers to your door!”
          OH! Well then by all means, party on. Sounds like a winner approach to me.

          (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  5. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    O.k. I am going to throw out a conservative idea and probably get beat over the head with it. Go to this site. http://www.commutesolutions.org/calc.htm

    Calculate in your mileage driven. I used about 9000 miles annual (which is low) and the overall cost to run your vehicle is $12,000. O.k. so lets say that is a little high. So lets half it. $6,000.

    Now if you ride the bus everyday and spend $10.00 per day it averages to about $3,600 dollars a year.

    So my question is WHY should I as a taxpayer have to subsidize riders of the bus through my taxes to give them a break, AFTER I have already paid for my own transportation which is higher??

    Yea the rich screwing the poor. Give me a break. As always it is the poor whining that those of us already paying a s**tload of taxes aren’t paying enough. I for one am tired of paying everybody elses way in life and then getting beat over the head that we are being big meanies and not paying for their free ride. AAAAAAAAAAAA. Drives me nuts.

    (4) 18 Total Votes - 11 up - 7 down
    • cheseburger says:

      BTDT gothca, I suppose the crippled combat Vets, have to pay double, you walked into that one my friend, and I don’t know what you drive but at that price tag it must be a nice ride, spin them tires conservatively now!

      (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
      • BeenThereDoneThat says:

        Alright Chese. I drive a ’94 that I bought in 2004 and a 2000 I bought this year.

        When things were busy in 04 combined income of myself and spouse was 150k. Of that I paid about 43k in taxes. That is not counting properity tax, sales tax, franchise tax, cell phone, t.v, vehicle, gas etc.

        So mister I am so above everyone with my smart comments, do you think I am rich??
        I pay taxes like I am rich but sure in the hell don’t think of myself as.

        Oh and last I was screwed by Gearhart for 35k which I can’t use as a business loss and just suck it up and shut up. Now if all the other whiners wanting my money would do the same.

        (-1) 7 Total Votes - 3 up - 4 down
        • cheseburger says:

          I lost double that to Gearhart and his crew of thieves, and my business has failed, (construction), so you are $38,000 behind me with the crooks and $107,000 ahead of me in income, got a concrete anything to pour? My next job will be making my own tombstones for the public at 10% over cost. Thanks, we are friends and I know that was low of me, but I missed this artical and I knew you would agree with a free ride for cripples and poor Vets, do you????????????????????????????No need to Mister me, we are friends, I am proud to get a responce, thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
          • BeenThereDoneThat says:

            Yea, I just figured that your brush you were painting with was pretty broad. Of course I wouldn’t mind if someone had a TRUE need but comon they are trying to lump everybody together. I have no problem like when they give 10% vet discounts at Lowe’s in Paso. Do something like that specifially, so that the system won’t be gamed.

            Also notice that I mentioned that was 04 income not last year. My point being is that there are a LOT of people in the middle class paying a s**tload of taxes and it is breaking our back. Then you get people saying that you are rich, mean, evil, etc. then you get frustrated when people want even more. I have and do charity work etc. donate and other things but I HATE when I feel like I am TOLD I have to donate or pay more taxes or else. I thought I lived in a free country.

            (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
            • BeenThereDoneThat says:

              Wow. You see there is a typical liberal responce. I stated I donated time and money to charities, yet I am selfish. Amazing spin.

              Second I did not answer the question? Well go back and read above thread when I stated doing something like a 10% discount. Can’t be any clearer than that.

              “but we are not hungry or cold.”

              Here is another funny thing. You want to beat up on those selfish republicans, well there was a study out about two or three years ago showing how much Dems and Reps gave to charities in the prior ten years. Guess what my friend, the Reps came out on top by quite a bit. So I don’t know what else anyone could tell you because you are obiviously set in your mind that anything conservative is bad. That is to bad that you aren’t objective enough to see another side.

              Oh and you didn’t ruffle my feathers, I know what I am inside and I know that I am a good person regardless of how others may perseive it. Others opinions of me don’t really matter. It is only one’s opinion.

              (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
  6. Vagabond says:

    OMG! the double decker bus story is hilarious!
    300K for a white elephant, my confidence in government has been restored!
    Square peg, meet round hole.

    (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
    • Vagabond says:

      Please, can we get the names of who thought up the double decker bus fiasco? I really feel the need to ridicule someone that richly deserves it HAHAHAHA

      (7) 9 Total Votes - 8 up - 1 down
  7. MAD HATTER says:

    Only in good old San Luis Obispo do you find the most stupid, unthinkable, crazy things happen to make people want to go away. Sure, raise the prices of riding the bus. “In bad economic times, why increase fares?” “Why not try to increase ridership. Basically they are discouraging people from riding the bus.” Yea, and shopping, and smoking, and drinking, and eating, and feeding the animals, and playing music, and whatever else they can find to waste peoples time and money. Do you ever get the impression that you are telling people you don’t want them in your little city?

    (6) 12 Total Votes - 9 up - 3 down
    • Cindy says:

      Your right, they should encourage people to start using the public transportation. However I don’t think lowering the rate would encourage more use, people who drive their cars won’t be encouraged by a lower bus rate. Raising the rate sure doesn’t help though.

      AS to the rest of your post, YOUR RIGHT ON.

      (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
  8. cheseburger says:

    Just comes down to, the rich again riding around in their BMW’s, all by there lonesomeness’s, count the cars with one person in them, it’s almost nine out of ten! Hitchhiking is illegal, bike’s can be fatal because, they have no power to get out of the way of some one late for lunch!
    Answer, bike roads cheap to build, will save tax dollars in the long run and help the local economy with jobs. Build them all over with tunnels to get under roads, I sure some modern countries have already done this.
    This county just keeps taking away from the poor and giving to the rich.
    Land of the free to inflict pain on the poor!
    Example, naw, you think about one!

    (-1) 13 Total Votes - 6 up - 7 down
    • Cindy says:

      I agree that bike paths would be a great idea especially for SLO. I can’t think of a single reason why more bike riding isn’t promoted.

      (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
      • mkaney says:

        Because when we try to get the clowns at city hall to do anything, like promote bikeriding, we wind up with ridiculous things like the “Bike Boulevard” that cost insane amounts of money.

        In my view, many things we have government promote is just to compensate for the effect of some other government involvement elsewhere. For example.. spending money to promote bikeriding after the federal and state government have subsidized local building of roads for automobiles. Or the federal government dumping money into Amtrak, after subsidizing the airline industry.

        (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
    • mkaney says:

      by the way chese just thought i’d point out that hitchhiking isn’t illegal. I am not sure how keen I would be on hitchhiking myself, but I have picked up a few hitchhikers in my day and not only have I never had any issues, I’ve actually some very interesting people.

      (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down

Comments are closed.