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'It's been a long time coming': Fond du Lac bus riders react to first fare increase in 12 years

Single-ride fares will increase 33%
Posted at 9:24 PM, Dec 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-12 22:24:45-05
  • Bus rates are increasing by 33% starting in January 2024.
  • Video shows how riders are reacting to the change.

Right now, it costs $1.50 to ride the bus in Fond du Lac; but that’ll change in 2024. Bus rates are going up to $2.00 per ride starting in January, which is about a 33% increase.

For people who take the bus every day, that can amount to hundreds more per year. Dustin Lewis is one of those people. He takes the bus five days a week to work and other errands, and he said he wishes the fare increase came with more availability for riders.

“I think when they jack the prices up, they should make time for more buses,” Lewis said. “They might as well open up a couple more hours, open up early.”

Buses currently start running in the morning between 6:00 and 6:30 (depending on the route), and stop running between 6:00 and 6:30 (depending on the route) on weekends. And on weekends, the buses don’t run at all.

But bus rates haven’t gone up since 2012, and while some riders I spoke with were upset with the change, many others told me they saw this coming.

“It’s been a long time coming,” rider Pauline Barnes said. “Because we just got some new buses, we gotta pay for it somehow. And it’s a very good convenience for us that they’re here.”

Representatives with Fond du Lac Area Transit were not available to talk Tuesday, but did state in a press release the increase is meant to prevent any cuts to bus routes.

But it’s not just the single-ride fares that will be affected, Handivan rides will rise from $3.00 to $4.00 per ride, and monthly bus passes will also increase.

These new rates will begin on January 2, 2024.