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Dana Point Times

As of yesterday, commuters utilizing public transportation will pay more to get around Orange County, due to a bus fare increase approved in November by the Orange County Transportation Authority to offset rising costs.

The approximate 20 percent increase—the first in more than four years—will drive adult cash fares from $1.50 to $2. A day pass will increase from $4 to $5 and a 30 day pass jumps in cost from $55 to $69. OCTA said the increase was necessary to maintain eligibility for state funding.

Since the last increase, OCTA officials said, operational costs have risen and fare revenues have decreased. In order to remain qualified for public transportation funding under the California Transportation Development Act—which requires agencies collect at least 20 cents for every dollar spent on services—fares had to be raised.

According to OCTA, customer fare revenue accounts for only 20 percent of operational costs, the rest of which is subsidized through various state and federal transit programs.

Senior and disabled cash fares will increase from 60 to 75 cents and day passes from $1.25 to $1.50, but customers will be able to purchase pre-paid day passes for a 10 percent discount. A new five ride pass was also introduced to help reduce costs. The pass will cost riders $9. Go to www.octa.net/busfares for a full list of fare adjustments.

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