Sun Metro Hosts Public Meetings
Mass Transit Department Proposes Fare Increase for 2011
Sun Metro has hosted five community meetings and will host three more to discuss a proposed fare increase for regular, students and LIFT passengers. The proposal does not increase the fare for senior and disabled passengers, and calls for the elimination of transfer fees.
The remaining meeting dates, times and location are as follows:
Date: Tuesday, July 27
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Richard Burgess Library; 9600 Dyer
Date: Wednesday, July 28
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Westside Library; 125 Belvidere
Date: Saturday, July 31
Time: 11 a.m.
Location: Memorial Park Library; 3200 Copper
"We encourage the public to attend any of the community meetings to learn the details of the proposal," said Sun Metro Director Jay Banasiak.
If approved, the proposed fare increase would take effect in January 2011, and allow Sun Metro to continue enhancing the quality of public transportation in El Paso.
Under the proposal, the standard fare would increase from $1.25 to $1.50 per trip; eliminate the 25 cent transfer fee, making transfers free. Student fares would increase from 75 cents to $1, and the cost of the LIFT, Sun Metro’s paratransit service, would increase from $2.50 to $3. Passengers with a LIFT ID would still be able to ride the regular, fixed-route, buses for free.
The proposal also recommends increasing the cost of the day pass from $3 to 3.50. Standard weekly passes would increase from $10 to $12; student weekly passes would increase from $6 to $7. Standard monthly passes would increase from $40 to $48; student monthly passes would increase from $25 to $30. Senior/disabled weekly passes would remain at $2.50 and monthly passes would remain at $10.
"We recognize that any increase is a burden for our customers, particularly during a recession. We also want to preserve some important discounts for seniors and people with disabilities, who are among the most transit dependent," said Sun Metro Director Jay Banasiak. "The city is growing and to meet the existing and future needs of our community we must grow, too, and not allow ourselves to travel backward."
Since its near collapse in 2006, Sun Metro has seen drastic improvements. This year, the city saw the completion of two state-of-the-art transfer centers, the significant completion of two more new transfer centers, the rehabilitation of existing terminals and the introduction of two new SMART routes that offer limited-stop express service from Downtown El Paso to UTEP or the Mission Valley area. Sun Metro also is nearing completion of an alternatives analysis to develop a Bus Rapid Transit System.