Customer Feedback Leads To Phased-In Fare Hikes
NEW CITY, NY — The Rockland County Department of Public Transportation today announced new, phased-in bus fares for the County’s Transport of Rockland (TOR), TAPPAN ZEExpress (TZx) and TRIPS Paratransit buses. The higher fares and electronic passes for TOR and TZx will be introduced in steps, beginning on June 15, 2014.
“We understand how difficult even modest changes to our fares can be to our customers,” said County Executive Day. “And, while we cannot avoid the hikes, the message from the community was heard loud and clear. We have responded with a phased approach.”
Public feedback slows the rate of change:
Input from riders indicated that planned increases were too steep in some categories. As a result of the comments received by phone, mail, e-mail and during Public Hearings at the Palisades Center in West Nyack, the decision was made to lower some of the proposed fares and phase-in the increases. The hikes were initially budgeted for 2013, but never implemented. The 2014 increases will be the first for Rockland’s bus services since 2011.
A list of new fares with effective dates is available at www.rocklandbus.com.
Proposed TRIPS fares lowered:
- The proposed TRIPS Paratransit bus “10-Ride Ticket Book” was reduced to $25 and will become effectiveJune 15, 2014. The originally proposed $30 fare will not be implemented for a full year. TRIPS Tickets will be valid for both Regular TRIPS and ADA TRIPS. Current TRIPS tickets will be accepted onboard TRIPS buses until August 31, 2014.
- The proposed Regular TRIPS Cash Fare was reduced to $3 and will become effective June 15, 2014. The originally proposed $4 Cash Fare for Regular TRIPS will not be implemented for a full year.
Although there was no proposed fare change for the current ADA TRIPS Cash Fare of $4, based on public input, the Department decided to reduce that fare to $3. The ADA TRIPS Cash Fare may return to $4 in June 2015.
Proposed TOR and TZx fares lowered:
- The proposed new TOR Unlimited 7-Day E-Pass was reduced to $30, with an effective date later this year (to be determined). The originally proposed $32 fare will not be implemented until 2015.
- The proposed new TZx Unlimited 30-Day E-Pass was reduced to $100, with an effective date later this year (to be determined). The originally proposed $120 fare will not be implemented until 2015.
In an effort to minimize impact to bus riders, the cash fare for the TOR and TZx services will NOT increase. TOR and TZx Cash Fares remain unchanged at $2 and $3, respectively.
Other new fares that become effective on June 15, 2014 include:
- Transfers on both TOR and TZx will be $1 (TOR, TZx, Clarkstown MiniTrans, Spring Valley Jitney, OWL buses, I-Bus and Bee-Line buses will continue to cross-honor transfers)
- Reduced-fare eligible passengers will pay $1 on TOR and $1.50 on TZx (half the regular cash fare)
- Reduced-fare Transfers will be 50¢ on both TOR and TZx
Medicare cards will still be accepted as proof of eligibility for the Reduced Fare program. Riders eligible for Reduced Fare may also apply for a Reduced Fare Photo ID Card at the Public Transportation Department at the Dr. Robert L. Yeager Health Center, Building T, Pomona.
TZx UniTicket fare:
Effective July 1, 2014, the Metro-North/TZx UniTicket fare will change. The bus portion of the UniTicket will increase to $20 on a weekly UniTicket and $60 on a Monthly UniTicket. The bus portion of the UniTicket fare has not increased since 2009. (UniTickets are sold by MTA Metro-North Railroad).
SuperSaver Transition to E-Saver Passes:
Taking effect later this year, on a date to be determined, the TOR and TZx E-Saver Passes (electronic fare cards) will replace SuperSaver paper tickets as the County’s volume-discounted bus fare.
- The TOR E-Saver Pass will provide 11 TOR rides for $20.
- The TZx E-Saver Pass will provide 11 TZx rides for $30.
In each case, the E-Saver Passes will offer one free ride compared to cash. The TOR E-Saver Pass will also be valid on TZx buses, but a one-dollar express fee must be paid for each ride.
Prior to the E-Saver Passes becoming available, existing SuperSaver paper tickets remain valid. There will also be an ample grace period after the E-Saver Passes become effective, during which the paper tickets may still be used. Riders who currently use SuperSaver tickets will not need to do anything differently until an effective date for the new E-Saver Passes is established. Paper SuperSaver tickets will continue to be sold at the current fare until further notice.
For the two other new electronic fare types being introduced later this year, the TOR Unlimited 7-Day E-Pass and the TZx Unlimited 30-Day E-Pass will offer an unlimited number of rides during the seven or 30 day time period. The time period for these unlimited passes will begin when the E-Pass is first used on the bus, regardless of the day of the week or month. Those passes will be sold by mail and by the Public Transportation Department at the Dr. Robert L. Yeager Health Center, Building T, Pomona.
In the Fall, the new electronic College Student Unlimited Semester E-Passes will replace the plastic “flash passes” currently in use. Students will simply swipe the E-Pass through the farebox slot each time they ride. A 4-month E-Pass will cost $120.
The new fares have been posted onboard TOR, TZx and TRIPS buses, at transit hubs throughout the County, and on the Department’s website at www.rocklandbus.com, where TOR and TZx schedules and links to other transit systems are also available. For trip planning assistance, call the Transit Information Center at (845) 364-3333,Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.