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Howard Transit plans to raise fares July 1

Howard Transit will raise fares July 1 in an effort to offset rising costs.

The base fare will rise from $1 to $1.50. Fares for senior citizens, disabled riders and students will rise from 25 cents to 50 cents.

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Fares for HT Ride, a service for those who, because of age or disability, cannot use regular bus routes, will rise from $2 to $2.50. Low-income passengers for this service may qualify for reduced fares.

The Public Transportation Board voted to raise fares for the first time in its seven-year history at its meeting last month.

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The fare increases are aimed at offsetting costs of Corridor Transportation, the contractor that operates the system's 25 buses and meeting demands of state transportation officials for larger county fare-box revenues. The county pays about $3.8 million of the bus system's $7 million budget.

"The new rates will allow us to partially catch up with inflation and still continue to meet the performance standards put forth by the Maryland Transit Administration," Carl Balser, the county transportation chief, said last week.

Other changes are also set for July 1. The daily unlimited pass will be eliminated, and the package of 10 single-ride tickets will be replaced with a 10-ride farecard, which will cost $13.50 for adult riders and $4.50 for eligible senior citizens, disabled people and students. Also, 310 Connector service will end in a cost-saving move.

Information: 800-270-9553, or www.howardtransit.com.


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