January fare increase likely averted

As you may know, Capital Metro had proposed a fare increase as part of our initial plan to balance the budget for next year.  In fact, a series of public meetings had been scheduled mid-September to talk about the fare proposal with the community.

Capital Metro staff will present an alternative budget proposal to the Board of Directors on Monday that balances the budget without an additional fare increase in January.

Capital Metro will propose to use approximately $2.6 million in federal economic stimulus funding for operating costs. With the assistance of CAMPO, the agency can request this redirection of a portion of its funding.

Other budget-saving measures included in the budget proposal:

  • Planned bus purchase in 2010 deferred to FY 2011
  • Continued hiring and wage freeze for administrative employees (37 positions eliminated in 2009 through early retirement and attrition)
  • Employees pay greater share of health insurance and copay costs
  • Wage increases of 1.5% in Jan. 2010, and 1.5% in July 2010, for bargaining employees per terms of contract between StarTran and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1091
  • Suspension of ‘Dillo service in Oct. 2009
  • Minor route modifications in Jan. 2010
  • Policy changes to MetroAccess in Oct. 2009
  • Fare increase to take effect at fall 2010 service change as previously approved

Budget timeline:

  • Aug. 31: Budget summary presented to Board of Directors
  • Sept. 4: Proposed budget posted online at www.capmetro.org for public review
  • Sept. 21: Public hearing on proposed budget
  • Sept. 28: FY2010 Budget adopted by Board of Directors

5 thoughts on “January fare increase likely averted

  1. Life. Complicated.

    That is great! The fare increase would have given me the option to continue driving my car for only $2 more a day. For $2, I will gladly pay that to have convenience of my car over rail. Speaking of rail, I understand that someone at CapMetro has suggested it be delayed for 2 years?

    Well, I think that is a bunch of hogwash! This was supposed to be launched 2 years ago and to delay another 2 years, is ridiculous. Any official word on a possible long term delay?

  2. Chris

    What is up with leaving people stranded at the park and rides? There are buses with empty seats refusing to allow people to board at the Great Hills Park and Ride, and the drivers are also not allowing anyone to stand.

  3. Shaheen

    Wow, im not happy about using stimulus money for this purpose. We know we some of the lowest fares in the country. We have all known fare increases are coming. You are delaying the inevitable while, IMHO, hurting the future of our city and transit.

    On another note, just got done reading an article over at statesman.com. I am again very disappointed about what I read. I love safety, but these trains need to be running as soon as possible and be very well used in order for the agency to regain any of the massive amounts of credibility it has lost.

    First off, why am I reading this info on statesman.com and not capmetro.org. I could swear ya’ll wanted open communication to happen. This, to me, only reinforces the lack of info and updates you disseminate.

    Second, I already thought the proposed metrorail schedule was exceedingly limited. Cutting additional trips only makes it even worse.

    Third, is there no checklist to follow? And even if there isn’t, is there no communication between the FRA and Capmetro? It would seem you could send an email or two.

    And, on another note, I really thought Metrorail was supposed to compliment the express busses. I could swear I read communication from the agency that express trips wouldn’t be eliminated. Upon reviewing that huge PDF on your website, it seems you want to eliminate 30 or so express trips which would supposedly be compensated by metrorail which seems to have no start in sight and with an extremely limited schedule you’re already eliminating trips from.

    I am so mad at this agency. I rode the busses everyday for years and still ride them as much as i can. The rail would give me a much better alternative and make it so I could ride transit much more often. I have been an overwhelming supporter of transit and this agency. But, every month over the past year you lose more credibility in my eye and I lose more confidence in the agency’s leadership. This is coming from an extremely strong supporter, not an opponent of transit.

    I hate the idea of running a transit agency as if it were a private company. Public transit in Texas will never make money and there needs to be a strong sense of moral and ethical leadership and oversight that private companies aren’t compatible with. That being said, I believe there needs to be a round of terminations and a review of contracts to see who hasn’t fulfilled their part.

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