The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

May 23, 2014

Shuttle service fare hike OK’d

MERCER COUNTY — A fare hike for the Shenengo Valley Shuttle Service that raised little concern was approved Wednesday night.

Mercer County Regional Council of Governments, which runs the shuttle service, held open meetings and encouraged public input on the raise, which will take effect in July, followed by additional increases in July 2016.

“This is based on those discussions,” said Thomas Tulip, COG executive director.

The hike will raise the basic fare from $1 to $1.25, the fare for disabled riders from 50 cents to 60 cents and the student fare from 25 cents to 60 cents.

It also does away with the discount for unemployed people and adds a 25-cent fee for transfers. Big 40 bulk discount passes will cost $30.

COG also approved the fare adjustment policy for the shuttle service. The policy commits the board to review fare rates for inflation every two years. It does not force COG to actually change rates.

With lower ridership in recent months, COG is working to keep its budgets balanced, which it was able to do for the next fiscal year for both the shuttle service and Mercer County Community Transit.

“They’re realistic, they’re holding the line,” Tulip said of the new budgets that will take effect July 1.

The shuttle budget increased about 2 percent from last year, and the transit budget decreased about 4 percent.

Tulip made clear there may be further amendments to the budgets in the fall due to contract agreements, but the current figures are good.

The budgets passed unanimously.

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