Public Input Sought on Proposed 2019 Fare Policy Changes

The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) is seeking public input on a number of proposed fare policy changes. The proposed changes and the public input process are outlined below.

Background

  • LAVTA has not had a fare increase since 2009, while operating costs have increased
  • A Fare Study, started in 2016, included a review of LAVTA’s Fare Policy, a comparison to fare policies at other area transit systems, and a look at trends in fare policies nationwide
  • The objectives of the proposed changes are to increase revenue without significantly impacting ridership; to have an easily understood fare policy; and to have a fare policy that promotes safe and timely bus operations
  • The introduction of Clipper Card technology on LAVTA buses in 2015 has resulted in an opportunity to offer new fare payment options
  • By the end of 2018, all LAVTA buses will be equipped with the same fareboxes, which will also provide the opportunity to offer new fare payment options
  • Because of issues with fare evasion and fraud, many transit agencies are moving away from paper fare media, such as transfers and tickets

Proposed Changes

Day Passes – Day Passes offer unlimited rides during a single day. LAVTA currently offers full fare Day Passes for $3.75. A reduced fare Day Pass for seniors/disabled/Medicare Card holders is $1.75. These Day Passes are currently only available for passengers using Clipper Cards. The first ride of the day is charged at full fare. The second ride of the day is charged at a 25 cent discount and triggers the Day Pass feature.

It is proposed that Day Passes be made available for purchase onboard Wheels and Rapid buses. Passengers will pay for the Day Pass on first boarding. The pass will be valid for unlimited rides until the last bus goes out of service at approximately 2 am.

Transfers – Paper transfers are the source of frequent conflicts between passengers and drivers. In addition, they are frequently fraudulently used or obtained. It is proposed that the use of paper transfers be eliminated. Passengers who use multiple routes during the day will be encouraged to use the Day Pass option, which will provide a discount compared to two one-way cash fares.

Fare Buster and Senior/Disabled Tickets – Fare Buster and Senior/Disabled tickets are currently sold in sheets of 10 one-way tickets. Fare Buster tickets are sold for $16 and Senior/Disabled tickets are sold for $10. LAVTA’s new fareboxes do not accept these tickets and the manner in which they are collected presents a theft and fraud concern.

Fare Buster tickets are primarily used by students attending area middle and high schools. In order to provide a convenient alternative, it is proposed that a Clipper Card Youth Fare of $1.60 be implemented. Youth Clipper Cards are available at no charge and would be required to obtain the fare discount.

The Senior/Disabled tickets provide no discount when compared to cash fares. Passengers using these tickets will be encouraged to apply for Clipper Cards, which will include the Day Pass option.

It is proposed that the 10 ride tickets used on Dial-a-Ride Paratransit continue to be sold.

Senior/Disabled/Medicare Monthly Pass – Full fare monthly passes are currently priced at $60, the price of 30 one-way cash fares. The discount Senior/Disabled/Medicare monthly pass is currently priced at $18, the price of 18 one-way cash fares.

It is proposed to price the discount monthly pass using the same 30 trip multiplier as the full fare monthly pass. Because this would result in a significant increase if implemented at one time, it is proposed that the cost be increased by $4 to $22 effective January 2019 and an additional $4 in January 2020 and January 2021 so that both monthly pass products are priced at 30 times the one-way cash fare.

Dial-a-Ride Paratransit – LAVTA’s Dial-a-Ride Paratransit service is very expensive to provide, with an average subsidy per passenger of more than $30. Federal regulations require transit agencies to charge no more than twice the fixed route full cash fare for ADA Paratransit services.

LAVTA’s current fixed route full cash fare is $2.00 and the Dial-a-Ride Paratransit fare is $3.50. It is proposed that the Dial-a-Ride fare be increased by 25 cents in January 2019 to $3.75 and another 25 cents in January 2020 to $4.00.

Public Input Process

The public is invited to provide input regarding these proposed fare policy changes. Comments may be submitted by email to info@lavta.org or by postal mail to: Fare Policy Comments, LAVTA, 1362 Rutan Court, Suite 100, Livermore, CA 94551. Comments may also be faxed to (925) 443-1375. Comments may also be made at one of three public hearings that have been scheduled:

  • September 10, 2018 – 11 AM Dublin City Hall – Regional Room
  • September 10, 2018 – 6 PM Pleasanton Senior Center – Senior Center Classroom
  • September 12, 2018 – 11 AM Robert Livermore Community Center – Sycamore Room

Translation services are available with 72 hours advance notice by calling (925) 455-7500.

Comments must be received by Friday, September 14, 2018 at 5 pm to be considered as part of the development of the final staff recommendation.

The LAVTA Board of Directors is expected to consider the final staff recommendation on the proposed fare policy changes at their October 1 meeting. The meeting will be held in the Board Room at LAVTA’s Administrative Offices, located at 1362 Rutan Court, Suite 100, Livermore, CA 94551. The meeting will begin at 4 pm. Public comment on the final staff proposal will be permitted at the Board meeting.

Click here to download and print a copy of the Proposed Fare Policy Changes brochure.