Port Alberni’s transit system is set to undergo major changes in an attempt to boost revenue and ridership, which have both been down in recent years.
BC Transit regional transit manager Johann van Schaik presented the Port Alberni Fare Structure Review to council on Monday and discussed several options to simplify the fare structure.The lack of service on holidays was also addressed.
Bus fares in Port Alberni haven’t been increased since 2003 and average fare costs —and thus revenue—lag behind similarly sized communities in B.C. by an average of 26 cents, he said.
According to Coun. Jack McLeman, the best way to reduce that fare gap without hurting ridership further is to consolidate the regular and discount cash fares into one $2 fare, as a 2012 BC Transit study showed that six per cent of riders already pay that amount instead of counting $1.75 for an adult fare or $1.50 for a discount one.
The increase would bring the city’s average single use fare to the same level as the $1.98 average in similarly sized communities.
In addition to consolidating the cash fare to a single $2 product, council also voted to combine senior and student monthly passes to a single $25 pass while leaving the regular monthly pass at $48.
Council also agreed to reduce the 20-pack tickets to a 10-pack and voted to drop the price down to $15.75.
Council also voted to improve the lack of holiday service by implementing Sunday levels of service on stat holidays starting on Labour Day.