Fare Hikes Ahead for Buses and Ferries

Working from home never looked so good, with new fare hikes on the horizon for Golden Gate Transit, according to the Ex.

The agency hopes to make up about 3% of its multi-billion-dollar shortfall by hiking fares by varying amounts. Some bus riders would see an increase of 10 cents, others 55. Those increases would continue to escalate for the next five years under the current plan.

Clipper Card users would get a small discount. Some of those fares will increase by 8 cents, while others would increase by 44.

Ferry prices for Clipper users are likely to increase sometime in 2012, though that plan has yet to take shape. Non-Clipper users would see ferry prices go up by $1 this year and then by 5 percent in following years, reaching about $12 in the next five years according to the Marin IJ.

One cause for the strain on the transit agency: decreased car usage. Because of the economic downturn, fewer people are driving and more are taking public transit.

GGT directors will vote today on whether to hold public hearings regarding the fare hike.

Decades ago, BART planned to expand its reach to the north bay, but that plan was voted down by north bay residents.

And if you're looking for an alternative to transit, you might want to think twice before reaching for your bike. Construction on the bridge will limit bike access on the Western sidewalk. Of course, bridge authorities could always convert one of the bridge's car lanes to a bike lane. It's unclear why they haven't opted to do so.

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