Ben Franklin Transit rates may increase - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Ben Franklin Transit rates may increase

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KENNEWICK, WA- For many, taking the bus is the only means of transportation.  Soon, those prices could rise.  Today, Ben Franklin Transit listened to customer comments about their rate hike proposals.

Gas prices have surged over the last few months.  The buses run on diesel and gas costs have increased by 6.5% this year. 

Kathy McMullen with the Ben Franklin Transit says, "Our buses run all day long. They get about 6 miles to the gallon. And so you can just imagine just how much fuel we're going through." She goes on to say that "combined with the insurance, the tires, what we're expecting to see over the next year, our board feels we should go out for a pretty modest fair increase, but an increase."

Unable to compete with current costs, Ben Franklin Transit is considering its first rate increase since 2009; an increase of approximately 20% on all services. 

Some of the proposals include raising adult and dial ride monthly passes from $22 to $25.  Even the disabled and patients on Medicare would see an increase from $.60/ ride to $.75/ ride.

One of the biggest topics discussed was a college pass.  The proposal is to eliminate them and make the college start paying for passes instead of students.

Ben Franklin Transit will hold 2 public hearings on Thursday, March 15 at 2:00 PM and 5:30 PM in the conference room at Three Rivers Transit Center located at 7109 W. Okanogan Place in Kennewick.

The public is invited to attend these events.