TriMet is proposing to increase LIFT paratransit fares by 30 cents a year until it reaches the same level as the All-Zone cash fare, which is currently at $2.40. The agency is proposing the fare increase because of the cost and growth of the service is unsustainable. The LIFT program mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has grown 37 percent over the past 10 years.
TriMet LIFT fares for the door-to-door paratransit service are low compared to peer agencies. Currently the LIFT cash fare is $1.85 for a one-way trip; the cost to TriMet is $29 per ride. The ADA allows paratransit fares to be a maximum of twice the cost of a fixed-route fare, or up to $4.80.
Most transit trips taken by people with disabilities and the frail elderly are on fixed-route buses and trains. About 11 million trips are taken on buses and MAX, compared to 1 million trips on LIFT. Fixed route service has been cut over the past few years due to the recession at the expense of LIFT service.
LIFT fare proposal phase-in
The Board is set to vote on the fare increase at its Feb. 22 meeting. If approved, it would take effect April 1 of 2012 and 2013.
|Current||April 2012||April 2013|
|LIFT Cash/Ticket Fare||$1.85||$2.15||$2.45|
|LIFT Pass (unlimited use)||$52.00||$62.00||$72.00|
|LIFT 20 Ride Punch Card (10¢ discount)||$37.00||$41.00||$47.00|
All-Zone cash fare is $2.40; monthly pass is $92.Once LIFT cash fares match the All-Zone fare, increases will increase at the same rate going forward.
The Honored Citizen fare for fixed-route service will remain at $1. Riders eligible for Honored Citizen fares are those who are 65 or older, on Medicare or have a disability.
Last summer the board considered raising LIFT fares up to $3 over four years, plus increasing the cost of the monthly pass. The majority of the board supported the increase but delayed taking action until January 2012 to explore other options.