Fare increase takes effect Feb. 16
February 12, 2014
Beginning Feb. 16, it will cost 25 cents more to ride Votran.
Votran is increasing all fares in a move to help offset substantially higher operating costs. The fare hike is the first for the county’s transit system since 2007 and even with the increase, Votran fares remain below the fares for other Florida transit systems, according to Steve Sherrer, Votran’s general manager.
With the new fare schedule, a full, one-way fare will cost $1.50, an increase of 25 cents; the reduced fare for seniors, youths and the disabled will be 75 cents, an increase of 15 cents; and a daily pass will be $3.50, an increase of 50 cents. In addition, an adjustment to the youth and child eligibility ages has been made to align Votran’s policy with SunRail and regional transit partners.
“Since fares have not increased since 2007, this means the balance of user fees and subsidies has changed,” said Sherrer. “As a service of Volusia County Government, Votran is heavily subsidized by county funds and state and federal grants.”
The fare increase comes at a time when ridership is rising. For the last six years, Votran has set ridership records. In fiscal year 2012-13 the system racked up more than 4 million boardings, 4 percent higher than the previous year. Votran’s budget is approximately $21 million and is funded by federal and state grants, fares and $8.2 million from the county’s general tax fund. Sherrer said the county’s subsidy is projected to grow to $9.5 million by 2015 and that’s one of the major reasons the fare increase was necessary.
“Votran makes every effort to operate a safe and efficient system,” said Sherrer. “We monitor the performance of our routes carefully to ensure we’re balancing the social and economic needs of the community with reasonable levels of productivity. Over the years, Votran has implemented new technology to further increase the efficiency of our operations. We also work closely with county staff to identify cost-saving opportunities. This includes coordinating fuel purchases, utilizing tire lease programs, participating in shared use facilities, evaluating employee benefit structures, and instituting wage and step increase freezes consistent with county policy. Votran does not carry any debt and has no unfunded liabilities.”
Votran service began in 1975 to serve the Daytona Beach area. As Volusia County continued to urbanize, population growth supported an expansion of service. Today, Votran service is available countywide. The Votran family of services includes fixed-route bus service, dial-a-ride paratransit service and commuter assistance programs.
Purchase passes online at http://www.votran.org/take-a-trip/pay-now.stml.