The Madison County Transit District Board raised fares for riders at its meeting Thursday. The MCT shuttle, cross county and express fares will increase by 50 cents each, to $1.50, $2 and $3.50 respectively.
The main item
Board members approved a fare increase to go into effect on Aug. 16. Madison County Transit District fares have been in place since 2009.
The MCT shuttle, cross county and express fares will increase by 50 cents each, to $1.50, $2 and $3.50 respectively.
The MCT regional fare will increase to $3 from $2.
Local transfers will remain free, and regional transfers will now be free. They are currently 75 cents.
People who use a monthly local or system pass will see an increase of $10 to $50 and $70 respectively.
The monthly student pass will increase to $20 from $15.
Madison County Transit projects the new rates will bring in about $250,000 a year.
“It is apparent we have not addressed our fares since 2009, as a public body it’s prudent we do so,” said Managing Director Jerry Kane. “These fares are user fees and pay a portion of the cost of providing the service and allows us to leverage state operating assistance and other federal grants.”
The transit district is subsidized by the state government.
SJ Morrison, the director of marketing and planning for the transit district, said Madison County Transit has the lowest fares in the region.
They said it
Board Chairman Dan Corbett, who did vote in favor of the increase, had concerns about people on minimum wage and said poor people are most likely to use the shuttle fare.
“It’s a 50 percent increase for the most likely fare to be used by poor people,” Corbett said. “I don’t know why we made the highest percent of increase to the least affordable people. ... They’re not the group that’s going to have the monthly pass. They’re the group that’s going to scramble for $1 or $1.50 to ride the bus.”
Kane said for someone who is being paid minimum wage for 30 hours a week, the 50-cent increase would cost 2.5 to 2.6 percent of their wages.
He also pointed out that 18 percent of riders don’t pay anything at all and have fares paid for by the state because they qualify because they are seniors, low income or disabled.
Madison County Transit’s base fare is still lower than St. Clair County’s base fare.
“We are concerned in making sure our fares are reasonable for the transit dependent, for those who depend on the service the most,” Morrison said.