SamTrans fares to rise

It’s been five years since the last fare increase for a ride on a bus in San Mateo County’s public transit system, and for the first time a four-year plan was approved by public transit to take affect starting next year.

A public hearing on a proposed two-phase fare increase was held on Oct. 7, 2015 at the SamTrans headquarters in San Carlos. The plan, which would raise the price of one-way tickets by 25 cents (to $2.25) for adults and by 10 cents (to $1.10) for seniors and disabled was approved by SamTrans board of district.

Included into this plan are monthly passes, which will go up $1.60 (to $65.60) for adults, and $2 for seniors and the disabled.

According to a SamTrans press release, these changes will take place on Sunday Jan. 10, 2016. This decision not only affects the public but the Skyline community.

“This price increase will greatly affect me as a student because I don’t have a car and rely solely on SamTrans for school and getting me around the Bay Area,” Skyline student, Nitendra Tiwari said. “It will also affect my monthly paycheck. I have to pay for rent, my phone and a car that I am trying to save for; 25 cents doesn’t seem like much at first, but it adds up monthly and affects students like me in the long run.”

According to the transit agency not only will fares be increasing in 2016 but beginning Jan. 20, 2019, the rates will increase to $2.50 for an adult ticket and $72 for a monthly pass. Discount tickets will increase by 10 cents then by 15 cents while discount monthly passes will increase to $27 in 2016 and $31.05 in 2019. Fares for para-transit services will also increase from $3.75 to $4.25 for a one-way trip beginning Jan. 1, 2016, and to $4.75 on Jan. 1, 2019, according to the agency.

These changes will not only be affecting Skyline students but many of its staff who rely on public transportation as well.

“It is already hard enough as it is to live in the Bay Area,” Skyline Communications Professor Jessica Hurless said. “Faculty and students will find options that are economical and allow them to continue living in the area. So every time there is a price increase on things like SamTrans we are going to see a lot of staff who aren’t able to use it anymore causing them to either take on more jobs or even change commitments so they either don’t end up working at skyline anymore or they end up not attending classes.”

SamTrans originally proposed raising para-transit lifeline rates by 25 cents, but opted not to impose an increase based on public feedback. However they proceeded with fare increase regardless of the same opposition from the public.

“I don’t think it’s fair for students because this will only make saving money harder,” Skyline student Renee Leon said.

Jayme Ackemann, communications manager at SamTrans, could not be reached for any further comments at this time.

For a full list of fare changes visit,