4/8 UPDATE: Hampton Roads Transit decides to delay rate hike to mid-to-late September or the first of October, The Daily Press reports. The new fares were supposed to go into effect on July 1.

UPDATE 2/27: HRT approved a two-phase rate hike Thursday for 2014 and 2016.

The commission will increase the base adult rate to $1.75 from $1.50, and the price of a one-day pass to $4 from $3.50, beginning July 1. That will be followed by another increase on July 1, 2016, to $2 and $4.50, respectively.

Other changes in the revised fare plan include raising the price of a 30-day pass for bus, light rail and ferry rides to $60 this summer and to $70 in 2016, up from $50; and raising the price of a 30-day pass for the MAX, a regional express bus service, to $110 this summer and to $125 in 2016, up from $95.

The new plan also includes phased increases on fares for seniors, youth, the disabled and Medicare card holders, and preserves a special rate on 30-day passes for those riders, as opposed to eliminating that offer as staff had previously recommended. The price of that monthly pass would rise to $40 in 2016, from $35.

NORFOLK -- There are 2 more chances to share your thoughts about Hampton Roads Transit's proposed fare increases.

Last November, a committee approved a staff recommendation to raise the cost of a single HRT ride. It also okayed getting rid of some categories of fares.

HRT said it hasn't raised rates since 1999, despite increases in fuel and materials costs and operating expenses.

HRT wants to raise ferry, bus, and light rail fees by 50 cents. The increase would generate an additional $3.12 million each year.

It costs about $60 million annually to provide services. Fares account for a portion of that. Most of the money comes from state, local, and federal sources.

Hampton Roads Transit has been hosting meetings to get input from riders. There are 2 scheduled for this week:

Monday, January 27, 2014
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Olde Huntersville Recreation Center - Community Room
830 Goff Street

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Thomas Nelson Community College, Moore Hall Espana Room
525 Butler Farm Road

HRT said if any fare change is adopted, it would not go into effect until July of this year.

The governing board will hold another public meeting on the proposal in February when the public can address the board as a group.

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