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LeeTran to roll out new price plan; Bus fare increase, cheaper day pass

By Staff | Sep 26, 2008

LeeTran riders will fork out an extra quarter each time they hop on a bus starting Oct. 1, when the transit company raises its fare from $1 to $1.25, though notably the price of an all-day pass will lower 50 cents and there will no longer be a fee to transfer buses.

Additionally, the price to ride the south Fort Myers trolley system will be raised from 25 cents to 50 cents.

The decision from the company comes as the result of a transportation study conducted in 2007, along with an effort to keep current with industry standards and raising gas prices, according to LeeTran Marketing Manager Joann Haley.

“The recommendation from the study was to increase the fare by 25 percent,” Haley said. “Taking a look at how much of our operating expense is recouped by fares … we were only recouping about 15 percent of our expenses.”

LeeTran is funded by a combination of county, state and federal monies, ad revenue and gasoline tax funds.

Haley said the additional revenue would decrease the amount of necessary government funding for LeeTran.

As for riders: “The study shows that any time you increase the price of transit, our ridership is expected to decrease by a small amount,” Haley said. “What that didn’t take into account was gas prices.”

Riders can calculate the savings of using public transit versus using their vehicle at: “http://www.apta.com/services/transit_calculator/index.cfm.”>www.apta.com/services/transit_calculator/index.cfm.

“(Additionally) we still have our discount fare system,” Haley said.

Riders 65 and older, certified disabled and students can ride LeeTran buses for 60 cents. Elderly riders can show their Medicare card to obtain the discount, and disabled and student passengers must obtain a LeeTran discount ID. College students must be full-time to receive a discount.

A transfer pass, which is currently 15 cents per transfer, will no longer be required to transfer buses.

Transfers create some difficulties,” Haley said, referring to the time-consuming efforts of the drivers and the opportunity for passengers to abuse transfer privileges.

The hassle, she said, is not worth the 15 cents.

That just barely covered the cost of the ticket itself,” she said.

Haley suggests riders take advantage of the all-day pass, which will lower to $2.50 from $3. The pass can save riders who take multiple trips throughout the day a substantial amount of money.

The last time LeeTran raised its fair price was 1994.