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News / Clark County News

C-Tran board votes to raise rates in 2024

Agency takes first step to bring rates back up after temporary reduction

By William Seekamp, Columbian staff writer
Published: June 15, 2023, 5:39pm
4 Photos
A new fully electric C-Tran bus pulls away from its stop earlier this month at the 99th Street Transit Center in Vancouver.
A new fully electric C-Tran bus pulls away from its stop earlier this month at the 99th Street Transit Center in Vancouver. (Taylor Balkom/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

C-Tran will ring in 2024 with a 10-cent to 50-cent increase in transit fares.

The Jan. 1 increase was approved by C-Tran’s board on Tuesday. It is the transit agency’s first step in restoring prices to pre-pandemic rates.

C-Tran reduced fares in January 2022 as a temporary measure as Clark County was recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Rates fell by as much as $1.35.

The Jan. 1 increase will affect local and express fares. All riders 18 and younger will continue to ride free via the youth opportunity pass program. C-Tran staff anticipates that the fare restoration could increase revenue between $250,000 and $400,000 per year.

Some who commented at a public hearing before the vote cautioned that an increase in the fare could result in decreased ridership. C-Tran Chief Executive Officer Shawn Donaghy said the agency plans to present the impacts of the fare adjustment to the board after the first quarter of 2024.

Changes

Local: The adult single ride and C-VAN fares will increase from $1 to $1.25. The last increase was in 2016, when fares rose from $1.75 to $1.80. For reference, $1.25 was the rate paid in 2005.

The honored single ride and C-VAN local fares will increase from 50 cents to 60 cents. The day and month caps will remain unchanged.

Regional: Single ride, day and month caps will remain unchanged on C-Tran’s regional routes, but riders transferring to TriMet will have to pay a 30-cent upcharge, a result of TriMet’s fare increase.

Express: The express fare will increase from $2.50 to $3, although the day and monthly caps will be lowered from $7.70 to $6 for the day cap and from $125 to $105 for the month cap.

Community Funded Journalism logo

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.

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Columbian staff writer