FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 1, 2008
Alexandria Transit Company (DASH) Public Hearing On Off-Peak and Weekend Fare Increase
The Alexandria Transit Company (ATC) Board of Directors will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, December 10, 2008, at 5:30 p.m., in the City Council Workroom, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 301 King Street. At the public hearing, the ATC Board of Directors will hear comments on the proposed plan to increase off-peak and weekend fares. The fare increases will help address the impact of the City of Alexandria’s fiscal year 2009 budget shortfall on DASH service.
On October 22, the City announced a revised fiscal year (FY) 2009 budget, which outlined a set of proposals to close a $10.5 million revenue shortfall. This shortfall, which is caused almost entirely by a projected drop in real estate values, required the City to adjust its current budget by 1.9 percent. City transit subsidies, which fund approximately 70% of DASH’s operating expenses, were reduced by $220,000.
In response to this reduction in City operating subsidy, the ATC Board of Directors is proposing a 25-cent increase in the off-peak and weekend fare to match the peak fare of $1.25. The remaining fiscal year 2009 subsidy reduction will be made up through the implementation of the Metro two-way transfer for bus and rail set to go into effect on January 4, 2009. The new rail-to-bus discount will be 50 cents off of the DASH base fare, with a new bus-to-rail discount of 50 cents. This discount is only available when using a SmarTrip card. The rail-to-bus transfer charge on DASH will be 75 cents.
The increase in the DASH off-peak and weekend fare and the increase in the rail-to-bus transfer charge resulting from the new two-way bus-rail transfer, will defer the need to reduce service at this time. Unfortunately, the City’s budget forecast for fiscal year 2010 shows a further significant decline in revenues, which may require DASH to reduce service on certain routes. In this event, a separate public hearing will be held to address any necessary service reductions.
If you have any questions or would like to request additional information, please call 703.370.3274 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.