FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – It might soon cost you a little more to travel around Fort Worth on public transportation. The Fort Worth Transportation Authority, or The T, is considering raising rates and getting rid of some of the free services.
According to Curvie Hawkins, an assistant vice president of planning for The T, it’s been four years since rates have been increased, but in addition to higher rates the proposed plan would eliminate free rides for disabled riders.
The current proposal has The T raising commuter bus fares from $1.75 to $2. Monthly passes would go from $60 to $80 and disabled riders, who now ride for free, would pay $1 each ride and the currently free rides around downtown on “Molly the Trolley” would be no more.
Hawkins said the increases and changes are necessary to provide quality service to an ever-growing population. “We don’t think this is a substantial increase, but at the same time, to meet the needs of this growing community, it’s one of the things we need to do to provide the service this community asks us for.”
But some riders, like Fort Worth resident Belinda Snider, said any kind of increase would be tough to swing financially. “If I come downtown and I don’t have to pay to get on the bus… I can just ride the trolley,” she said, adding that the potential changes are, “…a disappointment it is, because I’m used to just you know getting on and going where I need to go, because I don’t have the money all the time.”
While the cost of monthly and annual passes for students, seniors and disabled riders will more than double, rate hikes will average $1.27 per day for most riders.
The board will vote on the proposal in June and if approved the changes and new rates would take effect in August.
There are several meetings planned today to let citizens voice their opinion on the changes. Two public meetings will be held at the Intermodal Transportation Center, at 1001 Jones Street in downtown Fort Worth. The first meeting will take place at noon and the second at 5:30 p.m.