Connect-a-Ride fares to increase July 16

Travelers who use Central Maryland Regional Transit Corporation's Connect-a-Ride buses can expect to pay higher fares when the transit group implements a new base fare structure Monday.

In addition to the base fare increase, which raises the base fare from $1.50 to $1.75, CMRT is canceling a program that uses rider surveys to evaluate its services and has accepted a $25,000 contribution from the city of Laurel. These measures are being taken to offset a fiscal year 2013 deficit of $250,122, Beverly Walenga, interim chief executive officer of CMRT, said in a released statement.

While the base fare is increasing by 25 cents, there is no increase to the fares for monthly passes and no routes have been cut, CMRT officials said.

CMRT, a private, nonprofit transit corporation, provides Connect-a-Ride bus service to the city of Laurel and Prince George's, Howard and Anne Arundel counties.

Walenga also said the only other option to increasing the fare was to make a significant reduction in service on Connect-a-Ride routes, and that reducing service was the "last option" for the CMRT board of directors.

CMRT officials said there was no public input at a meeting they held June 14 to discuss route and fare changes.

New Connect-a-Ride fares

Effective Monday, July 16

$1.75: base fare

85 cents: senior/disabled fare

$96.50: monthly pass

$48.25: monthly pass for senior/disabled

$15.75: 10-ride pass

$7.85: 10-ride pass senior/disabled

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