BAT Bus Fare Increase, Service Cuts Considered 

Folks who ride the BAT bus are being asked to comment on a proposed fare increase and service reduction.The city is considering raising fares on the BAT Community Connector, from a dollar to $1.25, with a half-price ticket going up from 50 to 60 cents.The cost of a five-ride strip of tickets would increase by one dollar, and a monthly pass would go up by five dollars.They’re also thinking about eliminating Saturday service on the Mall Hopper route, and cutting service on Bangor routes on six public holidays: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Patriot Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day and the Friday after Thanksgiving. Bus Superintendent Joe McNeil says they haven’t raised fares since 2007.”We knew last year that we were going to have a tough budget and we’ve been looking at every possibility. And like I say, it’s a proposal at this stage, and we’re looking for public input to see if it works.”He says the cuts would save 70-thousand dollars. You have until the end of May to make comments on the plan, which you can do by calling 992-4671.If they receive enough comments there will be a public hearing. Otherwise, if the changes are approved, they’ll become effective July 1st.