Here's what we say:
CDTA plans a 50% fare increase in 2009. The Capital Region Transit Advocates, a coalition of transit riders and supporters, and the undersigned believe:
- Fare increases and service cuts will be a hardship for seniors, veterans, people with disabilities and low income bus riders who rely on CDTA or STAR as their primary mode of transportation.
- Fare increases and service cuts will send many of CDTA's new riders who take the bus by choice, right back to their cars.
- CDTA states that higher fuel costs have contributed to increased operating expenses, but with the drastic reduction in gas prices, it doesn't appear that a fare hike can be justified.
Given the current economic climate, the critical role of public transit in the promotion of green living, energy independence and the new green-collar workforce, and the potential for a stimulus package from President-elect Obama and the 111th Congress, it is premature for CDTA to schedule implementation of service cuts and a fare hike. Instead, we urge CDTA to push Congress for a stimulus package that invests wisely in public transit so that CDTA can keep fares at current affordable levels, add needed service and continue to attract new riders.
Click here to sign a petition before 10 a.m. on Friday, December 12.