In response to Sacramento Regional Transit District’s proposal to increase ticket fares ECOS has released the following statement:
For many years, ECOS has supported transit (Sacramento Regional Transit in particular) as an essential alternative to the over reliance on automobiles for transportation in the Sacramento region. We are therefore very concerned about the proposed fare increase that was presented at the January 25, 2016 RT Board meeting, since increased fares will invariably decrease ridership. The current fare increase disproportionately impacts transit dependent riders — including seniors, the disabled, and people on low income — many of whom live in already underserved areas.
Occasional fare increases are probably inevitable just to stay in step with general cost inflation. But it would be wise to proceed in small steps, at roughly five percent increments. At the same time, RT must strive to implement reforms already under discussion, such as reinstituting transfers, better enforcing fare payment, and restoring as much service as possible, in order to restore ridership to prerecession levels. To provide a minimally acceptable level of transit service in Sacramento County will require increased public funding. Transit got shortchanged in the last Measure A, and future transportation measures will need to provide a much higher level of financial support for transit.