Hector's testimony: "People of Color are disproportionately transit-dependent, and disproportionately bus riders. It also means that POC are more likely to be two-zone single-fare riders, which is the group that will experience the largest fare increase under TriMet’s proposal. It also means that as bus service continues to be cut, POC are impacted the most because they will experience more missed connections due to a greater transfer rate.
It is also crucial to consider the needs of our honored citizens and youth. Many people with disabilities and the elderly live on fixed income and cannot afford to pay more money. And with the YouthPass being cut, and employment opportunities scarce, our youth who completely depend on transit should not have to pay more either. We want to provide a system that attracts our young people to be lifelong transit riders, not looking to get a car the first chance they get.
Considering all this, Bus Rider Unite members sought to balance the flat fare for adult riders – at $2.25 per fare and $90 per monthly pass, it is a slight increase for current two-zone and a slight decrease for all-zone riders – while maintaining fares for youth and honored citizens.
Our flat fare proposal is both straightforward and easy to understand, but most importantly, it distributes the benefits and burdens of our system in a more just manner. The largest fare increase would be only 11%, and with increased value of an extended transfer time, our proposal actually increases ridership, whereas TriMet’s proposal will lose almost one million boardings per year. Because two-zone riders represent the majority of all riders, our fare proposal is revenue positive and ridership positive.
Our proposal also allows you to keep the Free-Rail Zone downtown for all riders who have proof of valid fare for that day, while charging flat fares for all other riders. And our proposal includes a reasonable fee for Park-and-Ride users. Even though we recognize that administrative and start-up costs will consume much of the 2013 revenue, it is past time that we start implementing a more equitable user fee system, especially on those choice riders who can clearly afford the cost.
In total, our Revenue-Generating measures add close to $3 million in new revenue, setting us up for further revenue gains in the future, while avoiding the worst impacts to those of us who need the service the most. Thank you."