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On World AIDS Day, New Mexico activists say more money is needed for prevention; ND farmers still navigate corporate land-ownership policy maze; Unpaid caregivers in ME receive limited financial grants.

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges Israel to protect civilians amid Gaza truce talks, New York Rep. George Santos defends himself as his expected expulsion looms and CDC director warns about respiratory illness as flu season begins.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

Transportation Board to Decide New Fares

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Monday, July 24, 2023   

The Regional Transportation District is holding a public meeting tomorrow - to decide whether or not to adopt a new fare structure, change existing discount and pass programs, and pursue other initiatives aiming to make transit more accessible to people living in the eight counties served by the district.

Bill Sirois, senior manager of transit oriented communities with RTD, said the plan addresses the most common concerns raised by customers - that fares are too expensive and confusing.

"This was a very customer-centric process," said Sirois. "We did have an extensive amount of outreach that we have done over the last year. So we really do feel like we're responding to what we heard."

Currently, local fares are $3, and regional fares are $5.25. The new plan creates a single standard fare of $2.75 for a three hour window to go anywhere in the district, except Denver International Airport.

A-train tickets would also drop slightly to $10. RTD expects the impacts of any lost revenue to be minimal.

RTD currently gets just under 7% of revenue from fares, which would likely drop to 5%.

Sirois said the new plan should help more Coloradans who depend on public transportation get their groceries, get to work and make it to doctor's appointments.

Seniors, people with disabilities, low-income residents and others who qualify will see their fares lowered.

"It goes from $1.35 for a one-way ticket, or $2.70 to ride all day, and that includes the airport," said Sirois. "So those over 65 have a much more expanded access to our system under this new proposal."

Currently, a family of four earning up to $55,500 per year qualifies for a 40% discount. Under the new proposal, a family of four earning up to $75,000 would qualify for a 50% discount.

The plan provides grants to nonprofits to get tickets to people in crisis and those experiencing homelessness. There's also a pilot program to get more young people on board.

"All youth aged 19 and under can ride the RTD system for free through the end of August of next year," said Sirois, "for a whole year."




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