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CINCINNATI — City Council approved the remainder of a bus fare increase proposed by Metro.

The vote Wednesday saves 55 full-time jobs and allows Metro to keep more routes as the carrier struggles with an estimated $17 million budget deficit, officials said.

Metro said the measure would allow them to cut services by only 12 percent, instead of the 20-percent service reduction they’d warned would be required.

“Our goal has been to preserve as much service as possible for our customers,” said Metro CEO Marilyn Shazor.

City Council approved a fare increase last week on many routes, but elected officials tabled a request to hike fares for Access service, which provides transportation for disabled riders.

Under the plan approved by City Council, fares will increase 25 cents for riders within the Cincinnati to $1.75.

All new rates will go into effect Dec. 27.

Within Hamilton County, fares will increase 40 cents for adult riders, to $2.65, and 20 cents for children, to $1.30.

Transfer charges will rise 25 cents, to 50 cents.

Monthly passes will cost $70 for Cincinnati riders, up $15 per month, and $106 for Hamilton County riders, up $16 per month.

Riders who change buses in northern Kentucky will pay $105 per month, up $15, and Fare Deal stickers will cost $38.50, a $6 increase.

Metro will provide service to disabled riders only at the level required under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the new fares will be phased in between Dec. 27 and June 6.

Effective Dec. 27, Access rides will increase $1 within Cincinnati to $2.50, and after June 6 those rides will cost $3.50.

Rides within Hamilton County will increase $1.25 on Dec. 27 to $3.50, and they will cost $4.50 after June 6.

wlwt.com

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