The Call A Ride public transportation program is moving forward with plans to eliminate rider discounts later this month, meaning the program will charge $1 for all rides within Ada.
The Call A Ride board of directors hosted a public meeting earlier this week so people could voice their concerns about the plan to end rider discounts, but no one showed up to comment, Call A Ride interim director Pat Fountain said Wednesday.
“Not only during the meeting, but I did not receive any kind of submission or anything in the mail,” he said.
Fountain said he was somewhat surprised that no one weighed in on the proposal, but he added that several Call A Ride customers have said that the service was worth at least $1 per ride. He also said there are resources available for people who have trouble paying the full fare
The board of directors has already authorized Call A Ride to abolish all discounts starting July 17. The change will not raise Call A Ride’s rates, but it will ensure that all riders pay the same rate.
Call A Ride currently charges $1 for all rides within the city limits, but the program currently offers discounts to various groups. Those discounts resulted in 50-cent fares for some riders.
Earlier this year, the Joint Call A Ride Committee — an advisory group studying ways to bolster the program’s finances and make the service better — recommended eliminating the discounts. Call A Ride’s board of directors later signed off on the proposal.
Getting rid of discounts is less of a revenue generator than a way to boost efficiency, Fountain said.
“We don’t want people to have to explain their handicap or why they get a discount,” he said. “It’ll just make things smoother and faster. Our paperwork will be so much easier.”