New Fares Go Into Effect July 1, 2017
On Thursday, July 21, the STA Board of Directors approved a new fare structure beginning in July of 2017 and completing in July 2018. The decision was made after a three-month outreach process and a public hearing that resulted in changes to the original recommendation. Based on public input, the Board directed staff to phase in the change over a two-year period, delay the increase for reduced fare passes until the second year, and to retain student and youth summer passes.
Revenue generated by the new fare will be used to help pay the operational costs of running the buses.
See the full list of fare changes and more information below.
Why is the fare changing?
STA’s passenger fare policy aims to have riders share at least 20% of the cost to run the buses, 3% less than the national average. In recent years, inflation and the cost to run the buses have increased, which means the riders are paying a smaller portion of the overall cost. When the new fare is fully implemented in 2018, the portion STA riders pay will be about 22%, still under the national average of 23%.
How does the new fare affect Paratransit customers?
Paratransit customers will see a $0.50 increase for a One Ride pass, which is equal to the increase for a 2-hour pass for Fixed Route customers. The increase will be phased in over a two-year period beginning in July of 2017 and completing in July of 2018. See the full list above for all changes.
How does the new fare relate to STA's Proposition 1 ballot measure?
Since the beginning of 2015, STA has told the community that passenger fares are anticipated to increase periodically over the next 10 years, independent of past or future ballot measure outcomes. Fare increases are heavily influenced by the cost of providing services, which like groceries and other goods, is subject to increases. We have been and are continuing to consider all forms of funding in order to sustain and grow service.
How does STA's performance compare to other transit agencies?
STA’s costs to run fixed route buses (cost per passenger) continue to be significantly lower than the average of our Washington state urban peers: 31.7% lower in 2015.
Once the new fares are fully implemented in July of 2018, Spokane Transit fares will remain among the lowest in the state. Most other transits are charging as much or more today than what will be implemented in 2017.
What kind of outreach did STA do prior to approving the fare increase?
STA conducted public outreach from April to June of 2016 to gather feedback from the community. Staff gave more than 30 community presentations and received more than 300 online survey responses. A Public Hearing was held on June 16 before the Board approved the new fare structure on July 21.
When did STA last change the fare?
STA’s last fare change occurred in phases between 2010 and 2012. Once implemented in 2017, it will have been 5 years since an increase. The current two hour pass costs $1.50, and will change to $2.00 over a two-year period. The first phase of the increase (additional .25 cents) would be implemented July 1, 2017, and second phase of the increase (additional .25 cents) would be implemented July 1, 2018. See the list above for a detailed list changes.
Community Presentations to Gather Public Input
March 18, 2016 Paratransit Users Group
April 7, 2016 Community Advocates
April 13, 2016 Citizen Advisory Committee
April 22, 2016 Aging & Long Term Care of Eastern Washington
April 25, 2016 City of Spokane Council
May 2, 2016 2nd Harvest
May 3, 2016 SNAP
May 3, 2016 People First
May 4, 2016 The Arc of Spokane
May 9, 2016 Park Tower Apt's
May 12, 2016 Skils'kin
May 16, 2016 City of Airway Heights
May 17, 2016 City of Spokane Valley Council
May 17, 2016 City of Medical Lake
May 17, 2016 City of Liberty Lake
May 19, 2016 Audubon-Downriver Neighborhood Council
May 24, 2016 City of Cheney
May 24, 2016 Pedestrian Traffic and Transportation Committee (PeTT)
June 1, 2016 West Plains Support Network
June 2, 2016 Community Assembly
June 7, 2016 Rockwood Neighborhood Council
Walk Up Open House Booth
May 15, 2016, 12-2pm, Rosauers on 29th Ave.
May 16, 2016, 7-9am, Riverfront Park, Bike to Work Week kick off
May 21, 2016, 10am-1pm, Sunset Park, S. Lawson St, Airway Heights, WA 99001, Airway Heights Wellness and Safety Fare
May 25, 2016, 3-5:30pm, STA Plaza, 701 West Riverside Avenue, Spokane, WA 99201