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Gene Kennedy reporting UTA says it's being effected by high diesel fuel prices and it's costing the transit agency a bundle. So leaders are considering taking action to save money. One proposal-- add a 25-cent surcharge for all one-way riders.
It's only a proposal right now, although the UTA board has given the indication it supports the increase. If the increase goes through, it will be temporary. But even that is not sitting well with Trax riders.
College students making their way to school, employees heading to their jobs. They are the people who pay $1.40 to ride the one-way. Come January, they'll pay $1.50 each ride, a permanent fare increase.
But UTA is considering a surcharge on top of that, an extra 25 cents, meaning you could pay $1.75 for a one-way trip in the new year.
UTA expects to lose six-million dollars in fuel costs. The agency says a 25 cent surcharge would make up two-million dollars.
If the surcharge plan surges ahead, riders could see increases as early as December first. UTA says the surcharge would be in place six months, until May or June 2006, then UTA would lower the fares, if fuel prices go down. If not, there could be a permanent increase.
Some were puzzled, why would TRAX be affected? It runs on electricity, not diesel fuel.
True, but the buses run on diesel fuel and UTA says the only fair approach is to spread the burden to all riders. UTA will vote on the plan on October 26th.