Council Votes to Pay Bus-Pass Hike for Seniors, Disabled
The Glendale City Council has agreed to pick up the tab for increases in the cost of monthly discount passes on Southern California Rapid Transit District buses for elderly and disabled citizens.
The price of the discount pass is being raised July 1 from $4 to $7. The council on Tuesday allocated $70,000 in annual Proposition A sales tax funds to pay for the $3 increase for about 1,600 elderly and disabled Glendale residents who ride the buses.
Final OK Pending
However, the subsidy program may not go into operation until August, which means that seniors may have to dig a bit deeper into their pockets for next month’s passes. The passes can be used for an unlimited number of rides each month.
Kerry L. Morford, Glendale public works executive assistant, said transit district officials have indicated that they may not be able to supply the city with the monthly stamps needed to validate passes until late in July.
The subsidy program still requires approval of the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission, which is permitted 30 days to review the proposal. But Morford said the commission has indicated that it will expedite Glendale’s application. A similar subsidy has been approved for the City of Los Angeles.
Proposition A is the half-cent sales tax passed by county voters in 1980 to fund transportation projects.
Provisions of Proposition A require that the transit district’s fare subsidy program end June 30, forcing the increase in monthly rates. In addition to the elderly and disabled, discount passes for students also will increase, from $4 to $11. No provisions have been made to subsidize student fares in Glendale.
Groups That Are Eligible
Base fares for each bus ride will rise from 50 cents to 85 cents for those without discount passes, and the base fare for seniors without a pass will double from 20 cents to 40 cents, city officials said. Morford said that, while the monthly increase for discount passes is relatively small, it could be significant for those on fixed incomes.
The subsidy is available to the disabled, to residents 62 to 64 years old working fewer than 40 hours per week and to anyone 65 or older. The passes will be sold at the Glendale Adult Recreation Center, 201 E. Colorado St.
Discount stamps will be issued by the transit district to the city and the city will be billed $3 for each stamp used. Morford said the city’s cost to administer the program is estimated at $5,000 to $10,000 a year, also to be reimbursed through transit-tax funds.
Although the council voted 4-0 for the subsidy, with Councilman Larry Zarian absent, Councilwoman Ginger Bremberg said she has some reservations about using the city’s share of Proposition A funds to support the transit district instead of spending that money to improve the city’s Bee Line shuttle service.