CCTA plans to raise fares, cut service to counter rising fuel costs

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(Host) Vermont’s largest public transit agency wants to reduce service and raise fares to head off a budget shortfall.

The reason is the high price of fuel.

Karen Duguay says fuel represents 15% of the budget at the Chittenden County Transportation Authority.

The price of the biodiesel used in the authority’s bus fleet has gone up more than a dollar a gallon.

Duguay says the authority tried to limit its cuts because fuel prices also have led to an increase in business.

(Duguay) “While higher ridership is wonderful and we’re thrilled that people are taking advantage of bus service and making responsible commuting decisions, the increased ridership doesn’t really help meet the higher fuel costs at the rate that the fuel is increasing. And with higher ridership comes demand for increased service levels. So we specifically targeted some of the services that were underperforming with decreased ridership.”

(Host) CCTA plans to reduce service on two routes in Burlington. Also, fares would rise one dollar – to four dollars – for a one-way trip on the commuter route between Burlington and Middlebury.

And free shuttle service probably will be eliminated during Burlington’s annual New Year’s Eve festivities.

The bus service plans public hearings over the next few weeks to get public input on the proposed changes.

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