Bus fares in Orange County will increase by about 20 percent, beginning Sunday.
The Orange County Transportation Authority Board of Directors approved the fare increases, the first since 2009, in November.
Starting Sunday, bus riders will pay $2 instead of $1.50, the day pass will increase $1 to $5 and the monthly pass will increase from $55 to $69.
To help commuters, OCTA is offering a new discounted five-ride pass for $9 and a 10 percent discount on pre-paid day passes. The agency will offer nonprofit agencies a 5 percent discount on bulk purchase of passes.
Since the last fare increase, the cost of bus service has gone up from $98 per service hour to $108. The agency is required to cover at least 20 percent of its costs. If it falls below 20 percent, then the OCTA risks losing state funding, which accounts for half of its $267 million budget.
OCTA board members were able to avoid a fare increase in 2011 because of a boost in sales taxes.
The fare increases are expected to bring in $6.4 million more in revenue for the agency.
OCTA officials in November predicted steep cuts in service without the fare increase.
- City News Service