Commuters react to bus fare increase

On a recent bus ride through Ashland, RVTD riders offered mixed reactions to the recent fare increase. The increase, which took place on Sept. 7, raised the in-Ashland fare from 50 cents to $1 to accommodate for increased service.

While waiting for the bus at the plaza, Shop'n Kart employee Rudi Sindelar wasn't happy with the increase, but wouldn't stop riding because of it.

"I don't know, it's pretty spendy," Sindelar said. "But I think the extra service makes up for it — having to wait less, especially to get out of town."

Ashland resident John Greene was less forgiving.

"If I am going to pay twice as much money, I should get twice as much service," Greene said. "They are supposed to have a bus in between, and it hasn't worked that way."

The No. 10 bus in Ashland used to run every half hour.

The increased service promises a bus every 15 minutes, but problems have occurred as schedule issues get worked out.

The addition of an Ashland No. 15 loop bus was supposed to provide the extra bus between the buses from Medford. Many feel the schedule needs to be more in-synch and efficient.

"They are running the same route as before," Ashland resident Nicole Bishop said.

"They need to have them go full-circle in Ashland every 15 minutes. The loop bus goes way out. They need a bus or a van doing a smaller loop every 15 minutes with a bus going out of town at the same time."

Bishop also described a recent situation while waiting for a bus to Medford.

"We were all piled up at Bi-Mart, and two buses arrived at the same time." She said. "We ended up late to Medford."

She also added that $1 to ride around town "isn't bad" and that it would not keep her from riding the bus.

Trevor Dunnett, who was visiting Ashland from the Bay area, was unaware of the fare increase, but offered his feelings on the subject.

"I think it should be 50 cents," Dunnett said, "but if it is needed to cover operating costs, more power to them."

Compared to riding buses in the Bay area, this issue "really isn't that bad," Dunnett said.

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