TriMet: New budget improves service, increases senior and disabled fares
The TriMet board of directors approved a $510.5 million operating budget for the coming fiscal years that improves service but also includes a fare increase for seniors and the disabled but no one else.
This budget will deliver a lot to our riders and the region as we continue our investment in expanding service and improving system reliability, says TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane."
The biggest increase in transit service will be the opening of the 41.49 billion MAX extension between Portland and Milwaukie scheduled to open on Sept. 12. Bus service hours will increase about two percent, a $5 million addition.
Well be restoring MAX Frequent Service on weekends, adding buses to busy lines and opening the MAX Orange Line along with more bus connections in Portland and Clackamas County, says McFarlane.
In addition, TriMet will continue to accelerate its bus purchase program with 77 new buses. By the end of the next fiscal year, TriMet says it will have a total of 326 new buses on the road, meeting the industry standard of an average age of eight years.
And union employees will receive a 3 percent wage increase that was negotiated in the latest contract, plus regular step increases. Also, the third time in six years, non-union employees will see a 3 percent wage increase on average, based on performance.
The board also increased Honored Citizen passes to half of an adult fare. The adult single ride fare is $2.50 and HC fares will go from $1 for a single ride ticket to $1.25; the monthly pass will increase $2 from $26 to $28. Other fares were not increased.
The next budget takes effect on July 1 and runs through June 30, 2016.The new fares take effect Sept. 1, 2015.JW_DISQUS_ADD_A_COMMENT