RTC considering Carson City bus fare hike

A Jump Around Carson bus.

A Jump Around Carson bus.

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Thanks to federal grants, Carson City’s Jump Around Carson public transportation has been free since March 2020. On Wednesday, the Regional Transportation Commission will discuss reimplementing and increasing JAC fares as pandemic-related grant funding runs out.
City staff have proposed that the $1 standard fare should increase to $1.50. Chris Martinovich, transportation manager, says that the increase could come as early as August, depending on the RTC’s vote.
With the fare increase, city staff are also proposing improvements to JAC, including Wi-Fi on every bus, a new contactless payment system (cash will still be accepted), five new buses, bus shelters and bus stop lighting.
In the future, Martinovich says that JAC would like to establish a transit center in downtown Carson City and implement route changes for greater efficiency.
“Staff were adamant about not raising the fares without some improvement for the riders,” Alex Cruz, transit coordinator, said at an RTC meeting in June.
Though, he added, it’s not the new amenities that are driving up fares. It’s continued increases in overall operational costs.
With the fare increases, city staff expect JAC revenue to increase by over $40,000.
Lisa Schuette, a supervisor and RTC member, joked at a meeting in May, “Hey, since you’re still riding for free, start saving that money.”
She added with more seriousness, “The reality is we’ve been undercharging in many ways.”
The RTC meeting on Wednesday is scheduled to follow a CAMPO meeting, which starts at 4:30 p.m. in the Robert “Bob” Crowell Board Room of the Community Center on 851 E. William St.
To provide public comment in advance of the meeting, email cmartinovich@carson.org.
The commissioners will also be discussing infrastructure projects near the northwest side of Carson City and pavement preservation projects for local neighborhood roads. The city has $2.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding earmarked for local roads.


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