Johnson County Transit is proposing a fare increase effective April 15, 2013. Public meetings are being held this week.
DATE and TIME:Tuesday, February 12 from 7 am to 8 am Thursday, February 14 from 5: 30 pm to 6:30 pm
LOCATION:Sylvester Powell Community Center (meeting room C) 6200 Martway Mission, KS 66202
Additional comments can be made through March 15 by:Email: Comments@thejo.com Phone: 913-715-8255 to leave a recorded message
Mail:Proposed Fare increase Comments Johnson County Transit 1701 West 56 Highway Olathe, Kansas 66061
Proposed Fare Increases
Proposed cash fares increases are 50 cents for K-10 and 25 cents for most other routes.
There is an anomaly though because the proposed cash fare increase for Route 812/Jo Flex is $1.25, which is significantly more than the other fare increases. Low-income people living in HUD section 8 housing in Overland Park mainly use this route to get groceries, medicines and other basic needs. We discussed this route in our Title VI claim dealing with the service cuts. Johnson County does not classify this route as low-income but TAN disagrees. This fare increase appears to place a disproportionate burden on the low-income people who use this route.
Here are the percentage increases to the base cash fares.
K-10 has a 16.7% increase – JCT has identified the K-10 route as both a minority and low-income route
Most Jo routes have a 12.5% increase
Route 812/Jo Flex has a 125% increase
Equity – Although it is obvious that JCT is proposing that all the non K-10 routes have the same base fare of $2.25, we are concerned that this could create an Environmental Justice issue. We will have to see if the FTA decides that Route 812/Jo Flex is indeed a low-income route. Different modes of transit service may have different fares without being discriminatory. Route 812/Jo Flex mainly serves low-income people two days a week for 4 hours, so it hardly seems fair to increase their base fare 125% just to make it the same as the standard and commuter express routes for daily commuters. For riders of Route 812/Jo Flex over 60 years old, they can get relief from the high increase if they purchase a 10 ride reduced fare pass. However, younger low-income people will feel the full brunt of this increase.
Process – We wonder when public meetings will be held in the KCK or KCMO areas that JCT serves? How do riders or potential riders using a reverse commute and needing a northbound bus after 6:30 pm, when this meeting ends, get to KCK or KCMO using transit? We hope there was a public meeting in Lawrence. Inadequate public participation was the basis of our Title VI claim for the service cuts and we see similar problems with the process for the fare increase.
Fare Structure – We question the wisdom of continuing a fare structure under which very long morning / evening commuter trips from Gardner or Olathe via I-35 have the same fare as much shorter “errand” trips on local streets, such as the 75th Street – Quivira and Metcalf – Shawnee Mission Parkway routes. KCATA has two categories of routes — regular ($1.50 fare) and commuter (generally $3.00).