The Clarksville Transit System will hold a public hearing this evening (August 11) at 5:30 p.m. at the Clarksville Public Library to seek public input on proposals that include the elimination of transfers and a requirement to pay a full second fare for trips requiring a change of buses. The city’s Transportation Committee has already unanimously approved the new CTS rate structure. CTS must now explain to the public the planned fare structure and proposed route changes and take public input on those changes.
The elimination of transfers translates to a de facto 75 cent increase in bus fare for riders who need to utilize two buses navigate across town or into adjoining residential neighborhoods.
For example, anyone living in the Peacher’s Mills or Cunnigham Loop areas who would be coming or going from a business on the northern parameter of Fort Campbell Boulevard would still transfer at the Fort Campbell WalMart but would now pay a second full fare. Anyone who must travel on the Fort Campbell, Peacher’s Mill or Cunningham Loop buses to get the Hospital, Clarksville Public Library, municipal offices at Pageant Lane, the Department of Human Services or Health Department, all of which require trannsfers, will pay $4.00 per round trip with the new fare structure. Buying a day pass at $3.50 would be cheaper by 50 cents, even if it is only needed for one round trip.
As it stands, the new fare structure means cost of riding city buses could nearly double for many people who use the Clarksville Transit System. While the actual fare per ride will remain unchanged at $1.00 per ride, the 25 cent transfers will be history. That means riders who need to transfer would pay full fare for that second ride, the second half of their journey. Since it is impossible to go from the western side of town along Fort Campbell Boulevard to the mall area along Wilma Rudolph Boulevard or to Madison Street and the Sango area without a transfer, all of those passengers could see their transit costs nearly double. The same applies to governor Sqwquare Mall and Madison route people who need to go elsewhere in the city.
The CTS claims its basic fares, that $1 per ride and slightly lower fares for seniors and mobility impaired people, will remain unchanged. Except for the price of that ride on a second bus.
The elimination of service to WalMart in Oak Grove, Kentucky, could also eliminate service to the some areas on the northern fringe of Clarksville along the Kentucky border. The CTS will also include discussions of adjustments to routes Including, for example, the Bus 6 that now serves the new Gateway Hospital.
APSU students will have free CTA transit and shutltle service across campus, with Austin Peay State University uderwriting that cost at $71,000 per year, with a contract stipulating up to 3% increase per year.
The APSU Student Government Association, in contracting with CTS, will “provide students, faculty and staff free transportation around campus via The Peay Pickup and around town on CTS buses.” The CTS operated Peay Trolley pick-up will run across campus from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekdays when the university is in session. Student activity fees will cover that cost.
Clarksville Transit System will operate the Peay Pick-up Trolley on and around campus between 7:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. weekdays when classes are in session. Peay pick-up cards are required for students using this new free transit system. Those pick-up cards will be available at both the Office of Student Affairs and the Morgan University Information Desk.
The Transportation Committee approved the following changes in transit rates:
* $3.50 for an unlimited day pass (a 50 cent increase)
* $45 for a 31-day pass (a $5 increase)
* $22.50 for a senior or mobility-impaired pass (a $2.50 cent increase)
At the hearing, CTS Director Jimmie Smith said fuel costs last year rose $145,000 over anticipated costs which were based on $2.25 per gallon. CTS is now scrambling to recoup that cost through this amended fare structure.
The public hearing will be an opportunity for those affected by this new fare schedule and proposed routes changes before they go into effect on September 1.