LAYTON -- Utah Transit Authority is proposing a systemwide fare increase, set to begin in the next few months.
UTA spokesman Gerry Carpenter said the agency is making the change as part of its overall budget planning to support its services and operations.
The proposal includes a multiyear program of incremental increases to all fares and passes, adjustments to fuel surcharge thresholds to reflect current average fuel costs, and an enhanced discount program for low- income riders.
Under the proposal, base fares would gradually increase over three years, with changes taking place May 1, 2011; April 1, 2012; and April 1, 2013.
A base fare would increase from its current $2 level to $2.25 on May 1, to $2.35 in 2012, and to $2.50 by 2013.
An adult monthly pass would go from its current level of $67 to $75 on May 1, to $78.50 by 2012 and to $83.75 by 2013.
A premium monthly pass, which is used for FrontRunner, would go from a current price of $162 to $180 on May 1, to $189 by 2012, and to $198 by 2013.
"Modest increases in our fares will allow UTA to keep pace with inflation, changing market conditions and the budget challenges associated with a weak economy," said Michael Allegra, UTA general manager.
"Our goal is to keep our fares reasonable while still asking our riders to contribute a fair share toward increased costs of operation."
Up until the May 1 implementation date, UTA will hold three open houses on the matter in the Top of Utah, all of which will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The first is scheduled for Feb. 16 at Farmington City Hall, 160 S. Main, Farmington.
The second will be Feb. 17 at the Weber County Building Commission Chambers, 2380 Washington Blvd., Ogden. A third open house will be Feb. 24 at Brigham City Hall, Council Chambers, 20 N. Main St., Brigham City.
The fuel surcharge adjustment will actually benefit UTA customers. Instead of paying a 25 cent surcharge when the average diesel fuel price in Utah rises above $3, under the new proposal, the surcharge wouldn't be implemented until fuel prices hit $4.
Coincidentally, a 25 cent fuel surcharge begins today. If the new proposal is adopted, the surcharge will be removed on April 30.