Bus riders in Tulare County will be paying a higher fare come summer. On Tuesday, April 5, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a 50-cent fare increase.
The Tulare County Area Transit fixed-route fare will be raised for the first time since the 1980s. As of August 1, it will increase from $1.50 to $2.
The Dial-A-Ride service will also increase from $2.25 to $3. This price was previously raised on January 1, 2012, from $1.50.
In addition to TCAT’s fixed route, which takes riders along a general route and makes routine bus stops, such as between Three Rivers and Visalia, the Dial-A-Ride service allows riders to schedule a curb-to-curb trip to and from specific destinations.
The main impetus for the increase is that TCAT must meet a 12 percent minimum ratio of fares to operating costs to continue receiving state and federal funding. For the 2014-2015 fiscal year, that ratio was 13.2 percent, a narrow margin that doesn’t leave much wiggle room.
In recent months, TCAT has built new transit shelters with plans for more. The agency is also planning to upgrade its technology, install security cameras, purchase new buses, and open a maintenance yard.
See the TCAT bus routes and schedules here.