MTS Considering Cutting Routes Raising Fares
Monday, February 23, 2009
San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System is being forced to reevaluate its service after the California legislature eliminated funding for public transit in the state. KPBS reporter Katie Orr has details.
Marketing Director Rob Schupp says MTS was counting on 14 million dollars from the California this year but only got about 7. He says there won’t be any money from the state for the next five years. MTS will have to cut routes (roots) to help cover costs. But Schupp says they’ll look at those with the least impact on riders.
Schupp: The majority of cuts are in non-peak hours. We really want to save our peak hour service. So we’re talking about late night service that will reduce our frequencies and weekend frequencies will also be dropped.
17-year-old Brittany Boldin sits at the Fashion Valley Transit Center waiting for a bus on a Saturday afternoon. She’s in the middle of a trip from Chula Vista to La Jolla which she says takes a few hours. Boldin’s worried cuts to the MTS budget could make it more difficult for her to get around.
Boldin: A lot of people use public transit and to cut funding would mean to cut bus routes. And that would make it harder to get to certain places. And me, I don’t have a car, so I take the bus everywhere.
But riders will likely find themselves with fewer options as MTS adapts to make up for the drop off in state funding. Changes in route service will be discussed at a public hearing in March. MTS will also look at raising ticket prices. Any fare increases would have to be approved by the San Diego Association of Governments before being enacted.
Katie Orr, KPBS News
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