GREENSBORO, N.C. — Increased bus fares and reduced routes are just a few potential changes the Greensboro Transit Authority may be forced to make in the face of a $2 million budget shortfall.
A steering committee met for the second time Thursday before beginning a series of community meetings which could be a factor in the final plan.
Potential changes could include raising the current fare of $1.50 to $1.75.
Service cuts include consolidating the city's 15 bus routes into 10 and possibly cutting back the number of evening and weekend trips.
"This is the first time in the 23 year history of GTA that we've been having to look at this level of reductions," said Elizabeth James, the city’s public transportation manager.
The first community meeting will be held February 10 at GTA’s bus depot.
James says community feedback is critical to their strategy for filling in the budget gap.
“We value what the community has to say about our services,” said Elizabeth James, the city’s public transportation manager. “We certainly value any input that they're going to give us about the changes that may take place.”
Riders like Naomi Garnett who rides two to three buses every day with her four children says even with a discounted fare, she still finds it hard to make ends meet.
"Sometimes I can't find enough change to get on the bus or I’ll have a set amount I need to use in my budget," Garnett said.
Garnett says any increases in fares would hurt.
"I'll have to like cut something out so I can get on the bus," Garnett said.
The earliest any changes would go into effect would be July 1st.