Arlington County Board Public Hearing – STAR paratransit & ART bus fare increases

May 17, 2010 at 5:47 pm Leave a comment

Action Alert

Attention: Arlington Residents, and those who ride Arlington Transit (ART) Bus

Are you, or is someone you know, a person with a disability who lives or works in Arlington and relies on ART Bus to get around? 

Then you need to know that:

ART Bus fare proposed to increase by over 25%

ART bus logoOn May 25, 2010, the Arlington County Board will hold a public hearing to get citizen input on a County staff’s proposal to raise ART Bus fares from the current boarding fare of $1.35 to $1.70 (for those paying with cash or tokens).  The boarding fare for those using SMARTrip Cards would increase from $1.25 to $1.60.  Without a SMARTrip Card, one would still have to pay full fare when transferring from bus to bus.  The discounted transfer charge for SMARTrip Card users would increase from 50 cents to 75 cents.  The ART Bus discount fare for persons with disabilities, seniors, and students would also increase from the current fare of 60 cents to 85 cents.  The student ten-token, discount rate will also increase from $5 to $7.50.

These fare increases would go into effect July 1, 2010, and they will come on top of expected Metrobus and Metrorail fare hikes!

STAR fares would rise significantly, especially for rides in Zones 1 & 2, if this proposal is adopted.

STAR paratransit logoOne-way fares to ride STAR paratransit would increase as follows starting July 1, 2010:

Zone 1 (Trips in Arlington)
Current Fare: $2.50
New Fare: up to $3.20 (28% rise)

Zone 2 (Falls Church City & Other Locations in No. VA inside Beltway & the District)
Current Fare: $3.00
New Fare: $4.00 (33% rise)

Zone 3 (Locations in No. VA Outside the Beltway & Montgomery and Prince George’s  Counties in Maryland)
Current Fare: $7.00
New Fare: up to $8.50 (21% rise)

(Note that the exact amount of the increase will depend on how much MetroAccess fares are increased under a WMATA staff proposal that is still under consideration by the WMATA Board of Directors.)&

These ART Bus and STAR increases will be very difficult for very low- and low income people with disabilities and seniors to afford.  Working people with disabilities will have a harder time making ends meet too.  

The proposed fare increases come at a time when STAR Paratransit has also made changes to policies, practices and services, which adversely affect the independence and self-sufficiency of those who rely on the STAR service.  These cutbacks include eliminating interim stops, requiring one-hour layovers before the next trip can be scheduled, and disallowing “will-call” or early return requests, except in very limited circumstances.

Disability advocates are very concerned that decisions to implement these service cutbacks were undertaken without adequate public input.  Many are concerned that STAR, as well as ART Bus, patrons have not received adequate notice about the upcoming hearing on fare increases to be held May 25.

If you share these concerns, ECNV urges you to come out to the County Board Hearing on May 25 at 6:30 p.m.  Let your voices be heard!

When:
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
6:30 p.m.  (Arrive to sign up to speak)
6:45 p.m.  (Hearing begins)

Where:
Arlington County Board Room
3rd Floor, Arlington Courthouse Plaza
2100 Clarendon Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201

For More Information call the Arlington County Board Office at 703-228-3130.

You can also contact your peer counselor at ECNV or Doris Ray at 703-525-3268 (Voice/Relay), 703-525-3553

By Doris Ray, ECNV Director of Advocacy and Outreach

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Entry filed under: Action Alerts, Advocacy, Event/Meeting. Tags: , , , , .

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