SPOKANE, Wash. — The bus pass and all other fares through the Spokane Transit Authority are set to increase starting July 1.
The rate for a two hour bus pass in Spokane has been $1.50 since 2012, and voters just approved a tax hike for the STA last fall.
Brandon Rapez-Betty, from the STA, said they are increasing fares for two reasons.
The first reason is to stick to its 80/20 policy, which means taxpayers pick up 80 percent of the cost to run buses, while riders will take care of 20 percent of the cost.
Rapez-Betty said due to inflation over the last few years, 20 percent for STA riders dipped to 18 percent. That means when the new fare is fully implemented in 2018, the portion paid by STA riders will be 22 percent. That percentage is still under the national average of 23 percent and will remain the lowest fares in the state.
There is a breakdown of how much fares cost right now on the STA website as well as how much they will go up by 2018. Starting July first, all fares, except reduced fares, will increase. However, those reduced fares will eventually increase by $0.25 in 2018.
Rapez-Betty said the second reason fares are increasing is to help pay for additional services to build up the bus system and carry more passengers.
So why are bus fares going up along with voter approved taxes? We can verify it is a response to inflation and paying for additional STA services.
We can also confirm the Spokane Transit Board of Directors conducted a full year of outreach in 2016 prior to approving the new fare rates in July last year.
- Spokane Transit Authority: Brandon Rapez-Betty