Funding Requirements Led To Fare Increase for Camarillo Area Transit Service (Post Date: 7/30/21)
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Camarillo, California – Camarillo Area Transit (CAT) fares increased on July 1, 2021, marking the first time that CAT fares have been increased since the service was first implemented over twenty years ago. The City uses state Transportation Development Act (TDA) funds to match the federal (FTA) funds the City receives annually. In order to use TDA funds, the City must maximize the farebox recovery ratio, or the City risks losing funding.
“We understand the dilemma some of our community members face with the new CAT fares,” Mayor Craven empathized. “The current fares have been a tremendous bargain for a number of years--a bargain that the City can no longer afford to continue. The General Fund has always subsidized rates, but the amount of the subsidy became so high that it is necessary to raise the fares, which will be more in line with what neighboring cities charge.”
The CAT service was initiated by the City of Camarillo over twenty years ago to fill a void in regional transit service. CAT service was intended to serve the Camarillo community and move them through the City safely and efficiently. The cost to operate CAT services has increased significantly over time and the fare adjustment is intended to help offset the increase in cost of providing the service for the community.
The increase in transit fares is required to increase revenues by approximately $114,000 for a total estimated fare revenue of $277,000, maximizing the farebox recovery ratio at approximately 12.6%, which is almost double the 7.4% farebox recovery ratio from the prior fiscal year.
Faced with the option of significantly reducing transit services, or raising fares to maximize the farebox revenue, the City Council, at a widely noticed public hearing on May 26, 2021, approved an increase in the senior age to 65+ and an increase to the Dial-A-Ride fares. The Dial-A-Ride fare increased 33% from $1.50 to $2.00 per trip for Senior (65+) and ADA riders, and increased 50% from $2.00 to $3.00 for all other riders.
CAT riders have the option to buy an unlimited number of 10-Ride tickets which never expire. A 10-Ride ticket is $20.00 for Senior and ADA riders, and $30.00 for all other riders.
Frequent CAT users who ride more than 40 times a month can benefit from buying a Monthly Pass for $80.00 (Senior and ADA) and $120.00 (all others) which is good for unlimited rides during the month for which the pass is purchased. These fares were increased from the heavily subsidized prior cost of $25.00 (Senior and ADA) and $50.00 (all others). A Monthly Pass is not required to use the service and individuals are encouraged to purchase the pass type that best suits their needs and frequency of use.
For more information on public transportation in Camarillo, please visit the City’s website: www.cityofcamarillo.org/residents/public_transportation/.