Thursday, September 18, 2014

LeeTran to increase service, fares

Contact: Joann Haley
Lee County Transit (LeeTran)

 LeeTran issued a press release today making it official re: restoration of last year's service cuts, the fare increase and the planned service improvements with those revenues.  BikeWalkLee thanks the BoCC for listening to its citizens and investing in vital LeeTran services.  A special thanks to everyone in the BWL network who worked over the past year in support of these efforts.


FORT MYERS, FL, Sept. 18, 2014 – In separate actions this week by the Lee County Board of County Commissioners, measures were approved authorizing LeeTran to restore previously cut service on nine routes, add weekend service to two routes, and increase its fares.

At its biweekly Tuesday morning meeting, the Commissioners unanimously approved increasing LeeTran’s base adult fare from $1.25 to $1.50. The discount fare increases from 60 cents to 75 cents; the Beach Trolley fare goes from 50 cents to 75 cents. Pass prices also increase proportionally. “Our last fare increase was in 2008,” explains Transit Director Steve Myers. “Our survey of other Florida agencies indicated that $1.50 is the norm.”

At Wednesday evening’s final budget workshop, the Board passed the fiscal year 2014-2015 budget which includes funding to reinstate service cuts made in the fall of 2013. The cuts eliminated some evening trips on nine routes, as well as service on Veterans Day and Martin Luther King Day.  “We’ve seen a noticeable decrease in ridership since those reductions were made,” Myers said.

Commissioners also agreed to invest a portion of the additional fare revenue in new service in Lehigh Acres and Cape Coral. Sundayservice operating every 60 minutes will be added to Route 110 serving Lehigh Acres, and Saturday service on this route will be increased to run every 60 minutes. Sunday service will also be added to Route 70 serving Cape Coral, operating every 60 minutes. These improvements will cost an estimated $247,125.

“Only nine of our 22 year-round routes offer Sunday service,” said Myers. “Our Transit Development Plan, which forecasts transit needs for the next 10 years, prioritizes improvement of our weekend service.”

The reinstatement of evening and holiday service will occur on Thursday, Oct. 2. The fare increase will take effect on Jan. 1, 2015, and the Route 110 and 70 improvements will begin on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015.

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