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CATA to Increase Fares July 1

by on May 12, 2014 9:04 PM

CATA customers will soon have to dig a little deeper to pay their fares.

The cost of a CATA bus ride will increase by 25 cents starting July 1.

The cash fare will increase from $1.50 to $1.75 with similar increases for bus tokens and passes, according to Kimberly Fragola, CATA director of administration. She spoke at Monday's State College Borough Council meeting Monday night.

It's the first increase in four years, Fragola says. The company's more than $15 million budget is largely supported by rider fares, she says.

At the same time, nine local municipalities and Penn State University contribute to the budget, and those contributions will also increase.

For the operating budget, the group will see a three percent increase. For the borough, the fee will increase from $89,469 to $90,784.

Fragola says the increase is necessary to receive state funds that require a local match. The funds will go toward an expanded CATA facility and new buses.

Additionally, the borough's capital budget contribution will increase by $4,203 to $17,609.

Fragola says ridership is at a near record high with more than 7.2 million riders expected in the near future.

"That's history for us," she says.

Fragola also provided an update on the year-long trial program which CATA hopes will increase bus advertising revenue. The program included the approval of four bus wraps, however, the company was only able to sell two wraps - bumper-to-bumper ads that even go over the windows.

Several council members criticized the wraps describing them as "ugly" and "eyesores" as well as saying it interfered with CATA's company brand and could confuse riders.

Fragola agreed the wraps initially created some confusion for riders.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for StateCollege.com. She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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