Topeka Metro board votes on service and fare changes

TOPEKA, KAN. (August 21, 2019) – At the August 19, 2019, Topeka Metro board meeting, board members voted unanimously to keep its basic fare, paratransit fare, and a variety of other fares at the same level as the past year.  

“Many of our riders are the most financially at-risk citizens in our community,” said Topeka Metro Chair Jim Ogle. “They cannot afford a double-digit fare increase at this time.”

The board did vote to adjust one segment of fares. The 31-day reduced fare pass, dropped to $25 from $35 in 2017, will return to $35 starting December 1, 2019.

The board also voted to make several service changes including eliminating the last hour of service throughout the system. This provides the greatest amount of savings in the budget without eliminating service to any one part of the city. Topeka Metro is currently working on alternative transportation options for those passengers who currently use the last hour of service. If the board approves such options, they could be available in time for the December 1st changes. Topeka Metro will reduce the number of routes and times that peak service will run as part of the cost-saving moves.

The board welcomes the community task force that is working through the United Way to create a possible path forward for bike share in Topeka. Topeka Metro is looking at several cost-saving moves that could allow bike share to continue until at least the end of the fiscal year June 30, 2020, in order to give the task force time to complete its work. In the meantime, Topeka Metro is looking for proposals from bike share companies to operate the bikes with more up-to-date tracking equipment at a significant lower cost.

“We believe we are moving closer to finding a sustainability path forward for bike share,” Ogle said. “With the work of the bike share task force and the moves we are taking, we hope to advance a plan that makes bike share bottom line neutral going forward.”