Transit News

March 4, 2003

PUBLIC HEARING SET FOR APRIL 10, 2003 ON PROPOSED GOLDEN GATE TRANSIT FARE INCREASES

A public hearing will be held on Thursday, April 10, 2003 at 9:30 am in the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation Districts (District) Administration Building, Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza, Board Room (second floor), San Francisco, to hear public comment on a proposal to increase Golden Gate Transit and Golden Gate Ferry fares effective July 1, 2003.

Fares are proposed to increase on July 1, 2003 as follows:

A) Golden Gate Transit bus fares are proposed to increase by 5%.  Adult cash fares will increase from .15 cents to .30 cents depending on the length of the trip. For example, the adult cash fare for travel between San Rafael and San Francisco is proposed to increase 15 cents from $3.25 to $3.40; the adult cash fare for travel between Novato and San Francisco is proposed to increase 20 cents from $3.95 to $4.15; the adult cash fare for travel between Santa Rosa and San Francisco is proposed to increase 30 cents from $6.30 to $6.60.

B) Golden Gate Ferry fares are proposed to increase at a higher percentage to bring them into greater parity with other ferry fares in the Bay Area market. Presently, the average adult cash fare on the Bay is $6.25 and the average discount fare is $4.25.

Current Larkspur Ferry Fares

Larkspur weekday

Larkspur

Weekend

Recommended Fares Everyday

Commuters Using Ride Value Discount Tickets

$2.60

$2.60

$3.50 (increase of 90 cents or 35% increase)

Adult Cash Fare

$3.25

$5.60

$5.60 (increase of $2.35 or 72% increase for weekday fares  only )

Senior/Disabled

$1.60

$2.80

$2.80 (increase of $1.20 or 75% increase for weekday fares only)

Youth Cash Fare

$2.45

$4.20

$4.20 (increase of $1.75 or  71 % increase for weekday fares only)

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Current Sausalito Ferry Fares

Everyday

Recommended Fares

Commuters Using Ride Value Discount Tickets

$2.12

$3.00 (increase of 88 cents or 42% increase)

Adult Cash Fare

$5.60

No change

Senior/Disabled

$2.80

No change

Youth Cash Fare

$4.20

No change

C) Intercounty paratransit fares: 2.5% increase.

D) For Local bus service in Marin County, operated under a contract with Marin County Transit District (MCTD) by GGT, fares will be increased by MCTD at a rate set by that agency.

A five-year program of annual fare increases was implemented in 1998 and ends on June 30, 2003.  These increases were necessary to provide operating revenue to cover at least 33% of operating cost and averaged 4.5% annually over the five-year period. 

The proposed July 1, 2003 fare increase is intended as a one-year, interim fare increase given the upcoming major restructuring of transit services set for public discussion over the next four months and the potential impact on transit riders.  This interim fare increase is recommended with the understanding that a comprehensive five-year fare program would be developed after transit service restructuring plans are implemented in September 2003 and the results of the service restructuring are incorporated into an updated financial projection.

The Districts Strategic Plan (Plan) for Achieving Long-Term Financial Stability calls for revenue generation to contribute $57 million of the $202 million needed to balance the next five years.  The remaining $145 million would come from expense reduction.  Transit fares are just one component of the $57 million target for revenue generation.

Additional Background on Strategic Plan for Achieving Long-Term Financial Stability
The Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District adopted a Strategic Plan for Achieving Long-Term Financial Stability in late June 2002 and updated in October 2002. The Plan was created as a guide to bring the current projected 5-year shortfall of $202 million into balance.  The Plan includes, but is not limited to the following examples:

Expense reduction strategies under consideration:

  • First round of transit service cuts to be implemented on March 9 and 10, 2003, saving the District about $2 million annually.
  • Second round of transit service cuts targeted for implementation on September 15, 2003, to save up to $25 million annually.
  • Work with Unions during negotiations to achieve a program of cost containment strategies.
  • Continue hiring freeze and eliminate positions.

New and enhanced revenue strategies under consideration

  • Implement a new Transit Fare Increase Program.
  • Implement additional fee-based parking at Bridge generating up to $40,000 annually.
  • Maximize revenues from visitor-related services through reduced operating costs for the Bridge Gift Center and Café, and by increased revenue generation through expanded concession opportunities.
  • Expand existing advertising revenues through District buses, ferries and facilities.
  • Toll Increase Program: Alternatives underwent extensive public review, culminating in an increase from $3 to $5 for cash and $3 to $4 for FasTrak effective September 1, 2003.   Additional revenue estimated at $138 million over the five-year period or about $28 million annually.
  • Voluntary donation program at the Bridge that will be launched this spring.