The Atascadero City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved fare increases and route changes to the city's transit system.
The changes were prompted by Paso Robles' action earlier this year to discontinue the North County Shuttle. Atascadero city staff expect the loss of the shuttle deal to decrease its ridership numbers, resulting in a $25,000 loss of fare revenue this year and jeopardizing its federal funding.
The increases approved Tuesday include raising Atascadero's fixed route fares to $1.50 from $1.25 per ride for regular fares; and to75 cents per ride from 60 cents for seniors and the disabled. Cuesta College students can still ride for free.
Dial-A-Ride fares for seniors and the disabled will go to $2.50 from $1.50 per ride for those living in the city's core and to $5 from $3 per ride for those in the outskirts. Regular Dial-A-Ride fares will go to $5 from $2.50 per ride for those living in the city's core and to $8 from $5 per ride for those in the outskirts.
All fare increases go into effect July 1.
The route changes are to the weekday fixed route service, also effective July 1; and a newly expanded Saturday fixed route service effective May 28.
The new route will go from Paloma Park to Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton in a one-hour loop, instead of ending at Cuesta College off Highway 46 East in Paso Robles.
Those wishing to continue to Cuesta can transfer to the Regional Transit Authority's Route 9 bus at the hospital's Park-n-Ride. Cuesta students can still ride for free, without a transfer fee on the RTA bus.
Atascadero's new Saturday route will have stops at the Colony Park Community Center, Atascadero Lake Park, Veterans Memorial and Charles Paddock Zoo on extended hours. The new stops will take the place of a Saturday stop in Templeton that city staff say was under-used.