Transit fare increases on Tuesday agenda

LAWRENCEVILLE - Suggested fare hikes for express bus commuters could be confirmed Tuesday.

County commissioners will decide this week whether to pass a proposed fare increase that Gwinnett's Transit Department said could save between $361,000 and $386,000.

The proposal also would alter or consolidate several local and reverse commute routes and change the age requirement for free rides to a height requirement of less than 42 inches.

Under the suggested change, one-way fares for all routes but Indian Trail and Discover Mills would be raised to $4 each way, from $3. The Indian Trail and Discover Mills routes would stay at $3 each way.

Monthly passes for those two routes would stay at $100, while the price would increase to $130 for all other express routes in the county. Discounts on 10-ride passes would be eliminated, if the Board of Commissioners approves the recommendations.

The changes were suggested by the Gwinnett Transit Advisory Board to reduce the subsidy paid by county government for the bus system.

The county currently spends $3.25 a ride for 666,000 express passengers and $1.60 per trip for 1.34 million local passengers. Changing the express fares will likely reduce the number of average daily boardings and save between $175,000 and $200,000 in the first year, according to a transit department analysis.

The fare changes would to go into effect Aug. 1, if approved by commissioners.

Route alterations on local routes 40 and 50 and reverse commute routes 101A, 102A and 103A would go into effect June 2, with the commissioners' green light, and would save $186,000 in a year.

While that change would reduce total operating costs by $310,000, some of that money also comes from fares and federal and state grants.

SideBar: If you go

What: Board of Commissioners meeting

When: 10 a.m. work session, 2 p.m. business session Tuesday

Where: Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, 75 Langley Drive in Lawrenceville