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Belleville Transit raising bus fares July 1

A chart to show the changes in fares starting July 1. Photo via Paul Buck.

By Tamara Pilon [1]

BELLEVILLE – Taking the bus to get to school, work or shopping in Belleville will cost more starting July 1.

Belleville Transit [2] is increasing bus fares to $3 from $2.50 for adults and college students, and to $3 from $2.25 for elementary- and high-school students. 

The single-ride fares for seniors will remain the same. 

Fares for 10 transit tickets will also increase: to $25 from $22.30 for adults and college students, and to $22.50 from $18.30 for elementary- and high-school students and seniors. 

A semester pass for college students will increase to $270 from $244. 

The price of a monthly bus pass will also go up, to $76 from $70 for adults, to $70 from $65 for college students, and to $60 from $57 for seniors and high-school students.

There will be no changes to children’s fares. 

The changes were approved Tuesday as part of the passage of the city’s operating budget for the year. Council was scheduled to meet for three days to pass the budget, but got the work done in one day. 

The fare increases are to cover the cost of improvements to the transit system, city transit manager Paul Buck told QNet News in an email Wednesday.

There will be a number of improvements made to Belleville Transit.

The first of these is a system at bus terminals that will provide real-time information to screens about buses, Buck said. They will be meeting with the vendor next week to set up the installation of this service. 

The next of these improvements is adding two additional buses to the late night service that runs until 12:30 a.m. seven days a week, he said. 

Councillor Paul Carr [3] said there were observations that Belleville Transit could not meet the demand of riders of the late night service with just one bus.

Paul Buck said the last of the changes is adding a new way for riders to pay their fare within the next few weeks. This system is called Mobile Pay and will allow riders to pay with debit cards, credit cards and electronic devices.