Assembly Pushing to Keep Bus Fares Down

Elvi Gray-Jackson

There was talk during a recent Assembly meeting of fare increases for the elderly and disabled on Anchorage’s “People Mover” bus system. However the Assembly has found a way to keep fares from rising.

As Assembly members hammered out the budget, Assembly member Elvi Gray-Jackson proposed an amendment to keep bus fares from increasing for seniors and disabled people after the mayor proposed an increase. The Assembly voted her amendment down. However, Gray-Jackson says they’ve found another possible way to keep bus fares from going up.

“The mayor brought forth an ordinance to increase bus fares – with other things to – to balance the budget and that would have brought in $2.6 million. But instead we’re going to use money from surplus dollars to balance the budget instead of increasing bus fares,” Gray-Jackson said.

Gray-Jackson says the municipality has the budget surplus dollars available. Assembly members have asked officials for an estimate of the budget surplus, but they say they can’t give one until the end of the year.

It currently cost $1.75 to ride the bus; seniors and disabled people pay a reduced fare of .50 cents.

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Daysha Eaton, KMXT - Kodiak
Daysha Eaton is a contributor with the Alaska Public Radio Network. Daysha Eaton holds a B.A. from Evergreen State College, and a M.A. from the University of Southern California. Daysha got her start in radio at Seattle public radio stations, KPLU and KUOW. Before coming to KBBI, she was the News Director at KYUK in Bethel. She has also worked as the Southcentral Reporter for KSKA in Anchorage. Daysha's work has appeared on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", PRI's "The World" and "National Native News". She's happy to take assignments, and to get news tips, which are best sent via email. Daysha became a journalist because she believes in the power of storytelling. Stories connect us and they help us make sense of our world. They shed light on injustice and they comfort us in troubled times. She got into public broadcasting because it seems to fulfill the intention of the 4th Estate and to most effectively apply the freedom of the press granted to us through the Constitution. She feels that public radio has a special way of moving people emotionally through sound, taking them to remote places, introducing them to people they would not otherwise meet and compelling them to think about issues they might ordinarily overlook.