HRT fare increase to start in July

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The governing board of Hampton Roads Transit unanimously approved and increase for bus, rail, ferry and para-transit fares on Thursday.

The fares will increase in two phases, according to an HRT press release.HRT Fares adjustment rate schedule

This July, the fare for bus, light rail and ferry trips will increase a quarter, from $1.50 to $1.75. The cost of a one-day GoPass will go up fifty cents, from $3.50 to $4. In July 2016, basic fares will increase to $2 and the one-day GoPass will increase to $4.50. Para-transit fares will be raised to $4.

HRT staff initially planned to raise fares to the 2016 rate this year, but customers voiced their concerns about being able to absorb the cost at nine public hearings. That is why the board decided to raise the prices in two phases.

“Raising fares is never taken lightly,” said William Harrell, HRT president and CEO. “We understand how difficult even modest changes to our fares can have on our customers.”

Customer concerns also caused the agency to slow the fare increase for seniors, disabled community and Medicare card holders — the current cash rate of 75 cents will stay the same until July 2016, when it will increase to $1.

The reason for the fare increase is to strengthen HRT’s finances, Harrell said: “HRT must improve its financial position in order to provide better service to our customers. This action is one step along that path.”

After both phases, the fare increase will provide $3.24 million in additional funds for HRT each year.

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