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Saturday, February 24, 2024
Feb. 24, 2024

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C-Tran eyes end to temporary fare cuts

Public transit rates were reduced to aid in COVID recovery

By , Columbian staff writer

C-Tran staff proposed the first step of a return to pre-temporary fare reduction rates on Tuesday, a move that, if approved, would see price increases of 25 to 50 cents, depending on the service.

Approval would end the temporary fare reduction that went into effect in January 2022.

“The fare reduction was intended to be a temporary measure allowing C-Tran to support the local community as it began the path of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” C-Tran’s Chief Financial Officer Julie Syring said at Tuesday’s meeting.

C-Tran directors will vote on the increase at the June 13 board meeting. If approved, the increase would go into effect on Jan. 1.

The proposed increase would affect local, regional and express fares. All riders 18 and younger will continue to ride free via the youth opportunity pass program.

Public feedback can be submitted at www.c-tran.com/fare-restoration.

Local: The local fare would increase from $1 to $1.25 under the proposal. The day cap of $4.25 and monthly cap of $62 would not be adjusted. The local fare in 2021 was $1.80.

Regional: The proposed regional fare rate includes TriMet’s consideration of increasing its base fare 30 cents to $2.80 in 2024.

C-Tran staff proposed two options. The first increases the regional fare from $2.50 to $2.80 to match TriMet’s proposal. The day cap would also increase from $5 to $5.60. The monthly cap would remain at $100.

The second option keeps C-Tran’s regional fare at $2.50, though riders would have to pay an additional 30 cents when transferring onto TriMet. Under this option, the C-Tran day cap would remain at $5 and the monthly cap at $100.

The Hop Fastpass — used by C-Tran, TriMet and Portland Streetcar — enables riders to transfer for free to other services in the system with the same or lower price. If a rider transfers to a higher-priced service, they will be charged the difference.

Express: The express fare would increase from $2.50 to $3 under the proposal. Both the day and monthly caps would be lowered, however, from $7.70 to $6 for the day cap and from $125 to $105 for the monthly.

The express fare was $3.85 in 2021.

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This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.