AC Transit bus fares increase for cash users, remain constant for Clipper card holders

Kavya Narendra Babu/Staff

On July 1, AC Transit bus users experienced a 25-cent increase in fares for adult riders paying in cash, though the price for Clipper card users remained stagnant.

With the new fare system, the adult single-ride fare went up from $2.25 to $2.50, and youth, senior and disabled fares increased from $1.15 to $1.25. The day passes went from $5 to $5.50 for adults and from $2.50 to $2.75 for youth, senior and disabled tickets.

Sitting in the shade in a wheelchair near the bus stop at Shattuck Avenue and Allston Way, 93-year-old Nancy Hall waits for the bus. For her, the AC transit buses are the only way she gets around Berkeley.

“They are not on time — now they are five minutes late, but this morning was 15,” Hall said. “I count on them; it’s my only way of getting transportation.”

According to the AC Transit website, the prices of senior and disabled passes have increased only twice since 2003. Youth, senior and disabled monthly passes increased in price from $30 to $34.

Ryan Stearns, a citizen who uses AC Transit buses Monday through Friday to get to work, said the fare increases do not have a huge effect on him personally.

“Since I work full time, (the increases) won’t affect me much,” Stearns said. He also said the buses are usually clean and “pretty reliable, sometimes off schedule.”

While prices go up for other forms of fare, discounts for Clipper card users have risen in an effort to try to get more people to use the cards in order to save paper. For Clipper card users, fares will remain the same, according to the AC Transit website. According to the website, AC Transit passes will be available for purchase at Walgreens, Whole Foods and other participating retailers.

The AC Transit website states that the rising prices will cover operational costs to help AC Transit continue to provide “safe and efficient service.”

Contact Yasmin Cristina Graeml at [email protected].