LEWISTON — Concerns about additional burdens on Twin Cities’ poor were the main worries voiced Wednesday about a proposed 20 percent bus fare increase.
The Lewiston-Auburn Transit Committee hosted two meetings to get public comment on the proposed fare increase for the Citylink bus system.
Regular fares would rise by 25 cents to $1.50, with corresponding 20 percent increases for all of the passes and fare discounts. Citylink bus fares haven’t changed since the 2006-07 season, when they went from $1 to $1.25.
The proposed new hike would increase revenue by about $17,000.
“People who are on disability, their income hasn’t increased for the last couple of years and it doesn’t look like it’s going to in the future,” said Judy Smith of Blake Street. “Everything else is going up. This is just one more thing.”
Dot Treadwell of Bartlett Street had similar concerns.
“People on fixed incomes haven’t had any increases, so that means that’s all they have to live on,” Treadwell said. “This might hurt them. I realize it’s expensive and all that, but it’s something to consider.”
Marsha Bennett, transit coordinator for the committee, said she will continue taking comments on the proposed fare increase via email, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at the www.purplebus.org Web site until June 13. The committee is expected to review and vote on the fare increase at its June meeting. If approved, the new fares will begin on Aug. 1.
Bennett said four people attended the meeting in Auburn and seven attended the Lewiston meeting.
“Most had very little to say about the fares, but they did have questions about other things,” Bennett said. Most wanted to talk about changes to existing routes and Saturday service.