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(Harrisburg) — It will cost more to ride Capital Area Transit this fall, if a plan to increase fares gets final approval.

The announcement from the transit agency covering Dauphin and Cumberland counties comes amid scrutiny from county officials.

CAT wants to get rid of its zone system of charging for rides and switch to a local fare and a commuter fare.

The Zone 1 base fare, which covers most CAT routes, is currently $1.75. The new local fare would increase to $1.80, with another five-cent raise set for 2021.

A Zone 2 base fare is now $2.35, and a Zone 3 base fare is $2.95. The cost to change zones is $0.60.

The proposed commuter fare, for routes farther from Harrisburg, is $2.75. It will cost $0.95 to transfer from local routes to commuter routes.

The transfer fare between buses remains at $0.25. Senior citizens over age 65 continue to ride free with a Senior Pass.

“CAT has not raised fares since 2010,” CAT Executive Director Rich Farr said. “We believe our riders understand that because of continual cost increases — particularly uncontrollable costs like fuel, healthcare coverage and regular operating costs — an increase in fares is inevitable.” 

The Cumberland County controller’s office recently analyzed PennDOT data and found CAT has been losing riders and cutting service while spending more to operate, attracting criticism from county commissioners.

The new rates are scheduled to take effect November 1st. The increases were tentatively approved by the CAT Board of Directors and are subject to public comment period.

Public hearings on the change are slated for Tuesday, August 6, at 6:00 p.m. at the Hampden Township Building, located at 230 S Sporting Hill Rd, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050; and Wednesday August 7th at 11:00 a.m. at the Strawberry Square Atrium located at 320 Market Street, Suite 273E. Harrisburg, PA 17101.

Written comments can be mailed to Capital Area Transit at 901 N Cameron St, Harrisburg PA. 17101 or submitted online

The public comment period is open through September 13th.