RANCHO CORDOVA --
Regional Transit held the first of four open houses at the Mills Station building located at the light rail station on Wednesday.
The goal was to give riders a chance to comment on a proposed 20 percent, across the board fare increase that the RT board will consider March 14.
Charts were on display outlining the need for extra money to maintain the bus and rail system as well as improve security and cleanliness.
"No one wants a fare increase, we don't want a fare increase ... we will run a deficit of $19.6 million in the next five years..." said RT Spokeswoman Alane Masui.
The RT board was not enthralled with a 20 percent increase, which it thought was very high.
The transit agency is seeking public comments at the open houses and by e-mail and online surveys to see what categories of fares affect them most.
Under the initial plan, all day fares will go up from $6 to $7.50, monthly passes will go from $100 to $120. Other categories like student, senior and handicapped fares will also go up.
In the surveys there are options like phasing in fare increases to reduce sticker shock. But it appears the end result will still be increases of some sort.
Passengers can go to the RT website to write their views and take a survey outlining their preferences.