Thursday, January 3, 2013

With new year, new Claremont Dial-A-Ride price hikes

Increased prices for Claremont’s Dial-A-Ride transportation service officially went into effect yesterday, January 1, bringing prices with the nonprofit to double its previous fares.

Dial-a-Rides are now $1.50 for seniors, $2.50 for the general public, $4 for outside the city or after hours, $1 for a second rider and $1 for group service. The Claremont City Council approved the increased fees in September in order to be able to continue to provide the community with the increasingly popular program. Dial-A-Ride Claremont has provided inexpensive cab services to locals without transportation since 1985. An estimated 78,000 cab rides were expected in 2012 alone, according to Interim Assistant City Manager Colin Tudor last April. At the current rate, the city’s funds for keeping Dial-A-Ride operating in the city would be exhausted in a little over 2 years, he continued.

By raising the fees, the city believes it will be able to see the program continue for years to come. City council members and administration will continue to monitor the effects of raising the cab fares with a review to be held September 2013 and another in January 2014, a year after implementation of the increase. In the meantime, the city will look to host information sessions and other forms of education about the program to encourage proper usage and hopefully curb overusage.

“As the council’s appointee to the PVTA (Pomona Valley Transportation Association), I can attest to the fact that they have really done their best to deal with the issue and be sensitive to the needs of our ridership,” Councilmember Joe Lyons said at a fall meeting. “This is a good educational opportunity.”

While the old $0.75 and $1.25 Dial-A-Ride tickets will still be accepted, each one-way ride will require 2 old tickets, according to the city. In the same fashion, those using Get About tickets will be required to use 2 of those tickets for a one-way Dial-A-Ride. Get About’s pink “nutrition” tickets will no longer be accepted by Dial-A-Ride.

Those who wish to use either the Dial-A-Ride or Get About transportation service may purchase ticket books at city hall, the Joslyn Center, Alexander Hughes Center or Blaisdell Community Building. Any questions about Dial-A-Ride or the fare increases should be directed to the Pomona Valley Transportation Authority at 596-7664 or Claremont Management Analyst Cari Sneed at 399-5306. 

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