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50-cent proposed increase first in 17 years; will help fund operations.
A single ride on Battle Creek Transit buses has cost $1.25 for the last 17 years, and staff have proposed a 50-cent fare increase – and several other changes – to help better fund operations and services.
The City Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed increases during the regular meeting on Tuesday, March 17. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 10 N. Division St. Anyone who needs transportation to this meeting can call Transit at 269-966-3474 – you must call no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, March 13.
Anyone unable to attend the meeting can offer written comments to Public Transit Director Mallory Avis at 339 W. Michigan Ave., Battle Creek, MI 49037, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Avis must receive written comments by March 16.
The proposed fare increases are:
Bus transfers would remain free, and bus rides for children under 42 inches tall would remain free. Tele-Transit single rides and multiple-ride passes would remain the same as the current costs.
The proposed increases would generate an additional $141,757 in revenue, without implementing a transfer fee. The Transit Public Transportation Committee and the city’s Human Relations Board challenged staff to develop a solution that keeps transfers free to riders. The PTC in January approved the current increase proposal.
The last Battle Creek Transit single ride fare increase was in 2003, from $1 to $1.25 (25 percent). The proposed increase this year is a 40 percent increase.
Staff has worked to improve Transit services to the community while also addressing greater expenses than revenues. Transit has received various grants, participated in community events, and is working on new branding. The new BCGo service remains in place with weekend hours, and staff are working to get Battle Creek Transit onto Google Transit, upgrade the dispatch system, and participate in work on county-wide transportation options.
Transit staff analyzed the impacts of a fare increase and service reductions, and believe the fare increase will have less negative impact for riders. Staff found that approximately 40 percent of households in the community do not have a vehicle.
“Limited transportation alternatives leave many neighbors without other options,” Avis said. “We need to make sure we can continue operating at the current levels, and also want to improve Transit services for our riders. We think this is the best solution to meet those needs.”
If approved, the fare increases would go into effect on July 1.