Cash-conscious commuters got some welcome news on Wednesday: The Central Ohio Transit Authority will not increase fares in 2018.
It may be great news for bus riders, but it is somewhat of a surprise that fares will stay at $2 per ride in 2018. COTA has set goals of having fares generate 20 percent of revenue, and a consultant recommended increasing fares to as much as $2.86 to meet that threshold.
The consultant said that a fare increase is overdue, both in terms of timing and cost recovery. And COTA Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Vosler had said he expected staff to recommend trustees hike fares.
But that's not what happened on Wednesday.
In a press release, COTA Interim President and CEO Emille Williams said after a review and public comment process, COTA decided to keep its fares the same for now.
Williams said they'll revisit the issue later in 2018 once they know the full effect of their Transit System Redesign, a major route realignment made last May.
“I’m confident that reviewing the first year of TSR operations will enable our team to better evaluate our fares, consider adjustments and potential impacts, and proceed with thoughtful and prudent fare policy recommendations,” Williams said.
The last time COTA increased fares was in 2012.