Gold Coast Transit Reminds Passengers of Fare Increase Effective January 24, 2010
Oxnard, CA – Gold Coast Transit is reminding all passengers that the first phase of the fare increase approved last month will take effect on Sunday, January 24, 2010. GCT’s adult bus fare will increase from $1.25 to $1.35. Fares for a trip on GCT’s ACCESS paratransit service , for persons with disabilities and seniors aged 65 or older will increase by $0.20 to $2.70. (View Gold Coast Transit's Fares)
New passes and tickets are on sale now at all GCT ticket outlets. GCT also wants to remind passengers that all current fixed-route tickets and passes can be used to pay the full fare, with no additional money required, until July 1, 2010. This grace period for using the old tickets and passes will allow passengers who purchased a multi-ride punch ticket or an extra monthly pass that hasn’t been used yet to receive full value for their purchases. Old ticket and passes can also be exchanged for credit towards the purchase of new tickets and passes at the Customer Service Center located at the Oxnard Transportation Center. Passengers who have ACCESS tickets valued at $2.50 can continue to use those tickets towards paying their fare and will be required to add $.20.
In July, 2011, the second phase of the fare increase will take effect, with GCT’s adult bus fare increasing $0.15 to $1.50 and ACCESS paratransit service increasing by $0.30 to $3.00 per ride.
The fare increase will help GCT offset diminishing revenues from state and local sources which account for 80 percent of GCT’s overall budget. In the past year, available state transit funding was slashed and several GCT member agencies have also had to cut their share of funding for transit service.
GCT is not unique in having to take such steps. Transit agencies across California have been forced to implement fare increases and service reductions as a consequence of the complete elimination of state funding for transit, as well as declining sales tax revenue.
“We did everything we could to avoid cutting service and increasing fares. We were able to reduce some expenses and take advantage of federal stimulus funds that were availed for operations,” said Deborah Linehan, GCT’s General Manager. “Although major service reductions were avoided, it came down to raising needed revenues through fares.”
Gold Coast Transit is a joint powers agency of the Cities of Oxnard, Ventura, Port Hueneme, Ojai, and the County of Ventura. GCT provides scheduled bus service on 15 routes in western Ventura County and provides curb-to-curb paratransit service for people with disabilities and senior citizens who cannot use the scheduled bus service. In fiscal year 2008-09 GCT provided 3.7 million trips to transit passengers.