Jefferson City transit looks to future for improvement
JEFFERSON CITY - Riding the bus in Jefferson City won't cost any extra money for the near future.
On Monday, the Jefferson City Council voted against increasing transit fares by 50 cents.
The proposal would bring in an estimated $30,000 to the city.
The increase, which would have been the first since 2007, was to keep up with the increase of money going into the system.
"Large amounts of cash have gone into the transit system, in order to keep it moving, and yet fares have remained the same," said Mark Mehmert, Jefferson City transit director. "It's kind of playing catch-up for the most part."
The $30,000 anticipated revenue was already built into the budget. Now Mehmert said they will be looking for ways to compensate a $30,000 shortfall.
"We will either do some sort of budget transfer or we will look for ways to further economize and tighten our belts farther," Mehmert said.
Despite Monday's veto, Mehmert said the transit department continues to look for ways to boost ridership, including considering one-day passes and better tracking the routes people take.
"That will give us where our highest traffic areas are and will help us reconfigure bus routes and become more efficient," Mehmert said.
In addition to increasing ridership, Jefferson City transit is seeking public input on projects that could be completed under a $200,000 grant for the rehabilitation of buses and facilities.
The Federal Transit Administration offers the grant, which Mehmert says would be used to update the bus facilities for the first time since 1982.
After Tuesday's hearing, the department will bring the projects to Public Transit Advisory Committee in hopes of bringing it before City Council for approval.