Overview

The OCTA Board of Directors has approved the proposed fare adjustments. The decision was reached after two months of community outreach and discussion about how to address rising operation costs and sustain or moderately grow the service. The new bus fares will be effective beginning February 10, 2013. Click here to view the new bus fares.

OCTA is aware that the fare increase will be difficult for some customers. Based on customer recommendations stemming from the public outreach, OCTA developed several ways for customers to save on the cost of riding the bus.

  • 5 Ride Pass: OCTA will begin offering a 5 ride pass for $9, which is only $1.80 per ride. This pass will be a pre-paid pass available at all OCTA pass sales locations. The pass will be similar to current OCTA pre-paid passes, BUT instead of swiping the pass upon boarding, customers will dip the pass in the farebox each time they board the bus. After the pass has been dipped in the farebox 5 times, the pass will be expired and no longer usable. The benefits of this pass are a 10% discount per boarding and that the rides do not have to be consecutive rides or days. The pass is valid until the 5th bus ride is taken.
  • 10% Discount on Pre-Paid Day Passes: Beginning with the February Service Change, customers will be able to purchase the pre-paid one day passes at a 10% discount. Previously, the one-day pre-paid passes were only available in books of 10 for the discount, but now customers will be able to purchase individual pre-paid one day passes for the 10% discount, making them only $4.50. Pre-paid one day passes are available at all OCTA pass sales locations.
  • Non-Profit Discount: OCTA also approved providing the maximum vendor discount (5%) to non-profit agencies and waiving the minimum purchase requirement in order to help provide bus rides for those in need.

To view the new fares that will become effective February 10, 2013, click here.

Financial difficulties? Call 2-1-1 for referrals to agencies that can help.
¿Dificultades financieras? Llame al 2-1-1 para referencias a agencias que pueden ayudar.

Background

The difficult decision to increase bus fares was reached after an extensive public outreach program. The program included several community meetings and a public hearing. Throughout the program, OCTA received valuable feedback from customers, community members and transit advocates. This input was used to develop additional new fare media and discounts for customers to help mitigate the fare increase.

The last fare increase occurred four years ago. Since then, operating costs have risen dramatically and farebox revenues have decreased. The farebox revenue—the money customers pay to ride the bus—covers less than 20 percent of the operating costs. OCTA subsidizes the remaining 80 plus percent through various state and federal transit assistance programs.

One of those assistance programs is available as part of the Transportation Development Act (TDA). In order for an operating agency like OCTA to qualify for sales tax funding, the TDA requires that passengers must pay at least 20 percent of the operating cost of a bus system (i.e., farebox recovery). If an agency does not meet the 20 percent farebox recovery, the agency could lose funding under the TDA.

Without the coming fare increase, OCTA would be in danger of not meeting the 20 percent farebox recovery requirement and would not qualify for sales tax funding. That would force OCTA to reduce current service levels.

OCTA is doing all it can to improve bus service. Using the results of an extensive transit system study and the customer input received during the study, OCTA is planning changes to make its bus service as efficient and effective as possible.