City council votes to increase bus fares starting Jan. 1, 2017 - Tucson News Now

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City council votes to increase bus fares starting Jan. 1, 2017

City concil chambers. (Source: Tucson News Now) City concil chambers. (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

For the first time in five years, the city will be increasing it's bus fares. This was a unanimous vote. 

Those who ride the bus will start seeing that increase beginning in Jan. 2017, the mayor and council increased the fares but they're delaying them.
 
So for a full fare, single trip, the price is going from $1.50, now to $1.75 in 2017 and $1.85 in 2018. But here is what else is going to happen -- with this new change, the city plans on repairing and replacing bus shelters.

The city is also going to make SunGo cards free and increase commissions to retailers so that way they can sell more of those cards at more places to increase that ridership.

The mayor and council say this was NOT an easy decision and BOTH sides took a stand on this emotional issue.
 
"Why should they take the money from the poorest people in our community," said Pat Malchow, who was against the fare increase. "The ones that are most stressed out already."

"I'm just happy that the council followed through with what they were going to say and now we can move forward, because every department took cuts during this time and what those departments get cuts, that affects all the citizens of this community," said Jobe Dickinson, Tucson Police Officers Association, who was for the bus fare increase. 
 
The mayor asked the city manager if this plan would be budget okay for 2017, he said yes. But in 2018, the city manager says estimates will be short about $400,000.

At the meeting on Tuesday evenint, the mayor and city council members extended a call to the audience and several people lined up to speak about the possible rise in bus fares. 

Some were for raising the fare: 

While others are not exactly for it:  

The last speaker told Mayor Rothschild and the council to "do whatever you need to do to get us going again", showing support for bus fare increases. 

Copyright 2016 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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