By Noah Haglund Herald Writer
EVERETT — Everett Transit bus fares are scheduled to rise by 25 cents for most riders starting next year, following a vote Wednesday by the City Council.
The new fares are: $1 for adults, up from 75 cents now; and 75 cents for youth, up from 50 cents. Elderly and disabled riders, who pay nothing now, will have to pay 25 cents.
Commuter and Para Transit fares are unaffected.
The increase takes effect Jan. 1.
“Even with this fare increase, we will still be the lowest fare in the Puget Sound region and certainly one of the lowest fares in the state,” Everett Transit director Tom Hingson told the City Council.
The fare increases are expected to generate $400,000 to $480,000 in extra revenue next year.
The city says higher fares are needed to offset rising fuel prices.
The city transit agency has maintained the same fares since 2009, when it was paying the state $2.06 per gallon for diesel. The current price is $3.47 per gallon and is expected to rise next year, agency program manager Steffanie Lillie said.
Fare revenue covers 8 percent of Everett Transit’s roughly $18 million yearly budget, Lillie said. The agency carries about 2.3 million people per year.
The City Council approved the fare increase by a 6-1 vote, with Council President Ron Gipson opposed. Gipson suggested amending the proposal to keep fares unchanged for the disabled, the elderly and youth, but failed to garner support from colleagues. That would have cut the revenue increase by an estimated $160,000 to $180,000.
For more information, call 425-257-7777 or go to www.everetttransit.org.