KRT fare system change to take effect in July

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Passengers who ride the bus in Kanawha County will see a significant change in the fare system come July.

Board members of the Kanawha Valley Regional Transportation Authority voted Thursday to implement a flat fare of $1.50, one way, to ride anywhere the bus travels to in the county.

It will cost $2.50 for a day pass, which allows passengers to ride the bus as many times as they need to throughout the day. The pass will expire at 1 a.m. the next morning.

The board hopes the new system will take affect the first full week of July.

Doug Hartley, assistant general manager of KRT, said the option they voted on will save time and money.

Currently, the base fare is $1 and the maximum fare costs $2.50.

“Everyone that was paying more than $1.50 now will actually see the savings,” said Hartley.

Right now, passengers pay the $1 base fare plus an extra 25 cents depending on which zone a person gets off at. KRT buses pass through six zones, so Hartley said it confuses drivers and passengers.

“A driver is trying to concentrate on the road to drive safe. Instead of having to do math problems in his head ‘where’s the fair changing?’ and things like that, now he doesn’t have to do that. The fair box will do the work for him,” said Hartley.

Hartley said the new system will eliminate that discussion and make traveling run more efficiently.

“It was the simplest fare to implement and it provided an opportunity for everyone in the system to medicate the fare increase by taking advantage of the pass system,” he said.

During the Thursday board meeting, Hartley said his main concern was how much revenue the switch over would actually generate. He said they cannot predict how many people will take advantage of the $2.50 day pass or decide to just pay the $1.50 flat rate.

KRT will offer also offer a new five-day pass for $12.50 and a 31-day pass for $60, under the new system. Currently, the 31-day pass costs $40.

A new $15 pass will be available to the public that would allow 20 half fare rides or 10 full fare rides. The $5 and $10 passes will still be offered as well.

Under the new system, KRT will also continue to provide punch cards for Kanawha Alternate Transit disabled passengers. There will be a new card that will sell for $30.

Hartley said the fare changes will be implemented July 1.