Preston & Marinich Announce Restoration Of BC Transit Discounted & Unlimited Passes

Broome County Executive Debbie Preston, Legislative Chairman Jerry Marinich and Legislators Matt Pasquale (R-Endicott), David Jensen (R-Endicott), Mike Sopchak (R-JohnsonCity) and John Black (R-Endwell) today announced an amendment to the 2013 proposed Budget, relating to important Discounted and UnlimitedBusPasses for BC Transit.

“The people spoke and we listened,” said Preston. “We presented a responsible 2013 Budget for BC Transit but some seniors, students and people with disabilities voiced concerns about the elimination of Discounted and UnlimitedPasses. Based on feedback from constituents at my Open Office Hours and our public hearings, we’re reinstituting the Unlimited Passes. And we’ve developed a new revenue source to pay for it that keeps our Zero Percent tax increase.”

"Transit is an important service that BroomeCounty provides to residents and over the past several weeks we've heard directly about the hardship that eliminating the 31 Day Unlimited Bus Pass would have on our constituents, " said Chairman Marinich. "I'm pleased that the Legislature Majority has been able to partner with County Executive Preston to come up with a plan to keep the UnlimitedPass, with a bump in the price similar to the proposed fare increase and the proposed increase in County support for the transit system."

The year-to-year cost to operate the overall BC Transit System increased by approximately $861,000 from 2012 to 2013. Increases in fares are expected to generate an additional $148,000, which amounts to only 17% of the increased cost to run the system. The remainder of the increased costs will be covered by General Fund support, which Preston increased by approximately $300,000, and other additional revenue sources.

“There are some people who might not be happy unless fares were kept flat or the whole Transit System was free,” added Preston. “But someone has to pay the bill to run our busses. This proposal is a step in the right direction that helps some of our most vulnerable citizens without overwhelmingly burdening property taxpayers with the cost.”

Specifically, the new 2013 Fare Structure Proposal does the following:

Ø        Creates a new One-DayUnlimitedRidePass for $5.00;

Ø        Creates a new One-WeekUnlimitedRidePass for $25.00;

Ø        Reinstitutes the 31-Day Unlimited Ride Pass for $70.00 (previous price was $52.50);

Ø        Reinstitutes the Elderly/Disabled Unlimited Monthly Pass for $44.00 (previous price was $33.00);

Ø        Reinstitutes the StudentUnlimitedMonthlyPass for $44.00 (previous price was $33.00);

Ø        Eliminates the off-peak hours requirement for the daily $1.00 Fare for the Elderly and Disabled;

Ø        Maintains the 2013 budget proposal to increase Single Ride Passes to $2.00 (previous price was $1.50); and

Ø        Keeps all transfers free.

All 2013 fare increases are proposed to be distributed equally and proportionally across all different types of passes so that no single group bears the brunt of the necessary increase.

The cost of the new restorations to the BC Transit System is estimated at approximately $42,000. To offset the costs, the County will install a new metered parking system at the Intermodal Bus Station in Binghamton.

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10/24/2012 - 3:17pm