OCTA to increase fares starting Sunday
A bus fare increase approved by the Orange County Transportation Authority in November is scheduled to go into effect Sunday, officials said.
Cash fare for a bus ride will rise from $1.50 to $2, according to the OCTA. A day pass will go from $4 to $5, and a monthly pass will increase from $55 to $69
For seniors and people with disabilities, cash fare will increase from 60 cents to 75 cents. A day pass will be raised from $1.25 to $1.50, and a monthly pass will go from $18 to $22.25.
The Orange County Transportation board voted 14 to 2 on Nov. 26 to approve the fare hike, said OCTA spokeswoman Laura Scheper.
The agency is mostly funded by the state and is required to collect from passengers 20 cents for every dollar spent on bus service, Scheper said. Without the fare increase, the agency would be "at risk of losing state funds," Scheper said Tuesday.
The rate increase also is helping to offset rising bus operating costs, she said.
To help offset the effect on passengers, OCTA is offering a discounted five-ride pass for $9, a 10% discount that works out to $1.80 per ride, Scheper said. OCTA also will offer a 10% discount on prepaid day passes.
The agency has been doing extensive community outreach to alert riders of the upcoming fee increases, Scheper said. It has reached out to libraries, employers, senior centers and other entities, and it has had information about the rate increase on its buses, Scheper said.
OCTA last increased fares in January 2009. The agency predicts the fare increase will result in $6.4 million in additional revenue.
-- Hailey Branson-Potts
Photo: The 57 bus from Brea to Newport Beach in 2008. A bus fare increase approved by the Orange County Transportation Authority in November is scheduled to go into effect Sunday. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times