Free Ride: Transfort Looking to Get Rid of Charging Passengers
Have you taken a ride on one the Transfort busses in the last couple of years? If not you wouldn't necessarily know that they haven't been taken any fees. You might be surprised to hear that it's kind of saving them money.
Between now and the middle of February, 2023, the citizens of Fort Collins are asked to weigh in on whether or not to reinstate charging fees for Transfort. They're mission is to provide easy, modern transit. Will making it free help in that effort?
The City of Fort Collins' Transfort service hasn't been collecting any fares at all since March of 2020 with the pandemic restrictions. However, with COVID-19 restrictions being eliminated, the city has not gone back to collecting the fees; it looks like they may never, again.
Did you know it costs the city $330,000 each year just to collect the fees for Transfort rides? That just seems crazy, to me. Even if you take out that cost, Transfort passengers only account for 2.9% of Transfort's annual revenue.
So, the City of Fort Collins is looking for input: Should they just let the fares go, or find a way to put them back in place, but differently? They've been conducting a study on the idea and they found seven benefits of not resuming fares:
- COST SAVING FOR RIDERS
- INCREASED EQUITY AND ACCESS TO FREE TRANSPORTATION
- RIDERSHIP GROWTH
- FASTER OPERATIONS (NO NEED TO TAKE TIME COLLECTING FARES)
- LESS CONFLICT BETWEEN DRIVER AND RIDERS OVER FARES
- FULLFILLING COMMUNITY TRANSIT, EQUITY AND CLIMATE GOALS