Wichita’s transit system faces a million dollar budget shortfall, and it proposes fixing the problem by raising fares by 50 cents, hiking paratransit rides for people with disabilities by $1 and eliminating bus service on Saturdays.
The move could affect the personal budgets of hundreds of people who are already struggling financially, and it could create problems for people who depend on city buses to get to work on Saturdays. City buses provide 182,000 rides a year on Saturdays —and, last year, gave 2.2 million rides overall.
City officials have said they have few options. The city faces a $1.5 million shortfall this year in addition to the transit system struggles, making it unpalatable to transfer money to the transit system from other funds.
City transit officials are inviting people to a public hearing on the proposed fare increase and service changes at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 23, in the city council chambers at 455 N. Main. They will also accept input by mail at Wichita Transit, 777 E. Waterman, Wichita, KS 67202 or by phone at 265-1450.