LA Transit is making some changes over the next year. Most of them are route/structural changes, but there are some fare increases as well. Some of the route changes include:
- Smaller, community buses on smaller routes with lower ridership
- An express route to the Lethbridge Community College
- More cross-town routes replacing all downtown routes
- Only one bus to the Westside starting in the fall
- Change to 30-minute service from 20-minute service during daytime
Some of these changes I have been supporting and advocating for years. Lethbridge Transit had been stuck in the archaic form of thinking that every route needed to come downtown despite the fact that the vast majority of riders ended up transferring to another bus instead of staying downtown. Until this past fall, there was no cross-town service. In addition, too many routes were coming downtown from West Lethbridge. This was far too inefficient of transit resources. Finally, there was no direct link between the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge Community College. The proposed changes will address all of these concerns.
I do not automatically support a reduction in service times, but considering the size of Lethbridge?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s population base, a 20-minute service is not realistically feasible. Much larger urban centres do not have a base service time of less than 30-minute services. Anything less than 30-minutes is usually on very high-traffic routes.
Regarding the fare increase, one of the most popular arguments against it has been the reported 200,000$+ surplus of LA Transit. Opponents of the fare increases have stated that if there is a surplus, it is evidence that riders are being charged too much. I?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢m not a proponent of absolutely increasing fares for increasing fares?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢ sake. However, I also did not hear these same opponents claiming riders were not being charged enough when Lethbridge Transit was running a deficit.