Extra transit discount to be eliminated Jan. 1

November 25, 1992|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff Writer

Some of Carroll Transit System's low-income riders will have to pay more for their discount tickets starting Jan. 1 to help make up for state cuts to county transportation.

A book of 10 tickets will be $5 -- half price -- for anyone with an income below $655 a month. Currently, those with incomes below $525 receive an additional discount, paying $3 for a book of 10 tickets.

That extra discount will end Jan. 1 and all low-income riders will pay the half-price fee of $5.

The change was made by the county Bureau of Aging, in response to meetings with Carroll Transit System to help offset state cuts.

The loss of a discount will affect the poorest riders, but they still get low-cost tickets, said Marjorie Bachmann, an analyst with the Bureau of Aging and the county's transportation coordinator.

"We felt that half-price tickets were still a huge bargain, and that was one way we could generate a few funds," Mrs. Bachmann said.

Mrs. Bachmann said the elimination of one discount was a compromise between the Bureau of Aging and Carroll Transit.

She said the bureau recognizes the need for Carroll Transit to raise more money to offset cuts from the state in many areas.

"We're just not sure fares are the right place to get the funds," Mrs. Bachmann said.

She said she is more concerned about residents who have low incomes, but don't qualify for the discounts. Residents of Taneytown, for example, must pay as much as $6 each way to travel to Westminster for a doctor appointment. With the discount, it costs $3 each way.

"That's more than any other county charges," she said. For a comparable 15-mile trip in Garrett County, for example, she said, riders pay $1.

Carroll Transit, a private, non-profit agency, contracts with the county to provide transportation. The contract includes discounted service to senior citizens, handicapped people and low-income people. The Bureau of Aging handles sales of discounted ticket books.

The state trimmed about $19,000 from the county's original contract with the transportation agency, said Linda Boyer, executive director of Carroll Transit.

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