Battle Creek Bus Riders Get Reprieve on Fare Increase
Battle Creek hasn’t raised fees that riders pay for mass transit in 17 years. That was due to change in July, but due to the pandemic, the planned increase is on hold, indefinitely.
In a release on Wednesday, the city said that because of continued service adjustments in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Battle Creek Transit will keep the current fare structure, and revisit a proposed fare increase at a later time.
Right now, Transit buses and Tele-Transit vans operate on their regular schedules, fare-free and with rear boarding when possible, to limit personal interaction and help prevent the spread of the virus. When these restrictions loosen, bus fare will remain $1.25 per single ride, and Tele-Transit ADA and the reduced fare will remain $2. These are two of the Transit fares that were set to increase in July, to help better fund Transit operations and services.
Transit staff already took public comment, and the City Commission held a public hearing on the changes. When it makes sense to revisit increasing fares, they will repeat this process, giving the community another opportunity to engage in the conversation.
The last Transit single ride fare increase was in 2003. This year’s proposed increases would generate an additional $141,757 in revenue, without implementing a transfer fee.
Because of COVID-19, Transit has suspended BCGo, the on-demand weekend transportation service. Staff anticipates bringing back that service, and have applied for a grant with which to operate it.
Ongoing services likely will remain fare-free until there is a safe and easy way for riders to purchase bus passes.
Transit is set to receive $3.9 million in federal CARES funds, the Coronavirus Relief Fund, that staff will be able to use to continue operations.
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