Rise in ticket prices for public transit

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Utah’s public transportation is one of the highest priced in the nation after a raise in fares this week. Eric Carlos takes the Frontrunner every day to get to work. “It’s convenient, but it’s getting competitive with gas prices,” said Carlos.

Starting this week, Carlos will have to pay more. The base fare of a ticket for the Frontrunner is now $2.50 plus an additional 60 cents per stop. The unlimited monthly passes also went up $5.

Riders like Chase Busathe are not happy about it. “It’s … kind of annoying. It’s already pricey enough. I don’t know why they have to keep raising it,” Busathe said.

These raises in fare are the third and final part of an agreement made by the UTA board back in 2011. They spread out the fare increase over 3 years to accommodate for expansion.

If riders were to buy a Frontrunner ticket 5 times a week that’s an additional $3 a month, which adds up to $36 a year. With an unlimited pass it’s an extra $108 a year after these fare raises.

UTA also says they think riders are still getting the bang for their buck. “We may very well be at the higher end in terms of charging our riders, but we also have much longer routes than most cities,” said Steve Allnatt, UTA spokeman.

If prices rise any more it could force people like Eric to change their schedules to be able to afford commuting. But UTA board members don’t anticipate losing ridership over the raise. In fact, they have seen a rise in numbers over the past few years. The increases also apply to buses and Salt Lake City’s TRAX systems. UTA is scheduled to add three new systems for local commuters by the end of the year.

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