DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The RTA is pumping its breaks on several services and giving the green light for fare increases. Fare and route changes went into effect Sunday.
RTA communications director Jessica Olson explained the adjustments are a result of sales tax cuts federally mandated in July of 2017. The lost revenue makes up $4.6 million of the RTA’s annual budget and required a combination of reductions and fare hikes.
“We’re asking people to kind of think differently about their transportation and prioritize their transportation,” said Olson.
She said the changes affecting the most riders are a .25 cent fare increase, from $1.75 to $2.00, for cash customers and the elimination of transfers.
Several riders told 2 NEWS the increased cost per ride concerned them.
“It does take a lot when you’re living on a monthly budget, definitely,” customer Christine Michaels said.
The changes will include a price decrease for daily unlimited ride passes from $5.00 to $4.00, which Olson recommends as an alternative for passengers who make two trips with transfers in one day. The option would cost the same as the current rate for cash customers with the same routine.
Most other passes will keep the same rate, but weekend, family, and 31-day youth passes will be eliminated.
In addition the to the fare changes, RTA is also making several service changes.
X1A, X1B, 40, 41 and 61 are being eliminated completely.
Routes 23 and 60 will no longer operate on weekends.
Routes 11 and 22 will no longer have Sunday service.
You can find information about other service reductions here.
Some riders said they’ve noticed the RTA’s outreach leading up to the changes.
“They’re doing a good job of it because they announce it all the time on the bus and I know they’ve got signs inside the hub,” said rider Lorraina White.
RTA staff held several community input sessions before finalizing its changes. Olson said the meetings influenced the RTA to keep several routes operating on weekends and not to raise fares for its paratransit services.
She said the adjustments are proactive and minimal so riders shouldn’t experience fare hikes in the near future.
“Until we have a fix (for lost revenue), we have to make changes,” Olson said. “This is the best way that we could do that with impacting the least amount of customers as possible.
You can find brochures and signs on RTA vehicles and stops.
You can find more information here.