Travelers who ride the bus in San Luis Obispo can expect higher fares, starting June 1, following a vote by City Council members April 21.
The move was a response to massive cuts in state transportation funds that have left the city struggling to make up operating costs.
Daily fares to ride the SLO transit will increase from to $1 to $1.25 per ride and senior/disabled fares will increase from
$.50 to $.60.
According to staff reports, the city is losing out on nearly $230,000 in state funds for public transit during the fiscal year ending in June. The budget gap resulted partly from a massive 50 percent cut in State Transportation Assistance (STA) funds. To make matters worse, that cut came in the middle of the fiscal year, so the city couldn’t plan for it. Next year is expected to be worse, as the state cuts all STA funds to the city. Additionally, the operating costs—mainly diesel fuel—have increased while fares stayed the same.
The council approved several changes to the fee schedule, including raising the age at which a person qualifies for the senior pass, and raising fees across the board. City staff suggested raising the cost of a 31-day senior/disabled pass by 50 percent, but the Council only approved an increase from $10 to $12.50. Seniors over 80 years old still ride for free.