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Sacramento Will Lower Transit Fares
Sacramento Regional Transit (RT) is cutting fares. "The agency will drop the base fare from $2.75 per ride to $2.50 and reduce monthly passes from $110 to $100," Tony Bizjak writes for the Sacramento Bee. RT has faced declining ridership on its bus and light rail service (like many systems around the United States) and they hope a price decrease will help stem some of their lost ridership. "The agency will dip into its reserve account to compensate for about $600,000 in lost revenue, but believes the reduction could boost ridership by about 350,000 boardings annually," Bizjak reports.
RT saw its ridership peak in 2008 during the recession, but today its rides are down by 9 million per year, a steep drop in a city of a half million people (roughly 50,000 of whom moved to the city after 2008). Officials say that some of that lost ridership is due to the agency's efforts to suppress fare evasion and is actually a good thing. But there's no question that the agency has lost ridership among paying customers. The question now becomes, “Will paying less bring some back?”