LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Lee Tran, the public transit system in Lee county, wants to increase its fares for the first time in just over five years. Some riders are not pleased; they argue: it will only put more financial pressure on their families.
Lee Tran will seek the OK from county commissioners to raise the basic fare from $1.25 per ride, to $1.50. The monthly fare would go up from $35 to $40. And the fare for disabled people would increase from $2.50 per ride, to $3.
"I am shocked, that they would want more money at this time. I mean, a lot of people are struggling to just make it," says Christy Flowers.
She rides a Lee Tran bus to and from work, five days a week. Members of her family ride the bus several days a week. "Raising the fares is not right, they might as well ask us for our right arm," Flowers adds.
Joann Haley of Lee Tran explains: "Very few things have not gone up in price the past five years. I mean, gasoline has gone up, housing, food costs, you name it. So in light of inflation, it is only reasonable that at some point in time, we have to seek a fare increase."
Haley also tells WINK News: "We will receive an extra 800-thousand dollars a year from the higher fares. That could help us buy another bus to add to the Lehigh acres run, where the bus is over-crowded."
Lee commissioners will get a full briefing on the fare increase proposal next Tuesday afternoon. The commissioners have the final say. Haley says, if the vote is yes, the new fares probably would go into effect later this spring or early summer.