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Dave Olson, Published November 22 2009

Clay looks at raising rural fares

Under fare increases proposed by Clay County Rural Transit, the price of a round-trip bus ride on any of the city commuter routes served by the agency would go up $2.

Some of the cities it serves are Detroit Lakes, Audubon, Lake Park and Hawley.

A one-way fare would be $1 higher under the proposal, while the price for a monthly pass would increase $5.

The daily Dial-A-Ride rate of $3 one way would remain the same.

The plan is expected to go before the Clay County Commission in early December.

If approved, the new fares would take effect Jan. 1.

Georgia Beaudry, coordinator of the county’s rural transit program, said the increases are necessary to help the county achieve the local match for state funds the agency needs to operate.

“We haven’t raised our fares for four years,” she said. “Even when the fuel prices were high, we tried to maintain the cost of the passes to maintain our ridership.”

Beaudry said comments from riders have been positive so far.

“A couple have said they’re surprised we didn’t increase them a while ago,” she said of the fares.

If the fare structure is changed, the round-trip fare for a trip from the Fargo-Moorhead area to Detroit Lakes would be $12.

The round-trip fare to Hawley would be $10.50, while a round-trip fare to Dilworth would be $6.

Beaudry also said Clay County Rural Transit has asked the state of Minnesota for permission to restart its Sabin/Barnesville commuter route in early January.

She said her agency is also seeking permission to extend the Sabin/

Barnesville route to Rothsay and Fergus Falls.

Beaudry said if that request is approved, the route would start in Fergus Falls, run to Rothsay, then to Barnesville, then on to Sabin, and finally to downtown Fargo.

Moorhead, Dilworth seniors to see rise

A public hearing is set for 5:15 p.m. Monday in the Moorhead City Council chambers to consider increasing passenger fares for the Metro Senior Ride Service operated by Fargo Senior Services for residents of Moorhead and Dilworth.

Under the proposal, the fare for seniors ages 60 and older would increase from $2 per one-way ride to $2.50 per one-way ride.

The same increase would apply to the fare for a guest a senior may be traveling with.

If approved, the new fares would become effective Jan. 1.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555