CyRide Board of Trustees decides to increase passenger fare

Caroline Havekost

A solution has been reached on the further funding of CyRide after a budget shortfall.

The Daily reported in June that due to an increase in fuel prices, more money was needed to fund CyRide.

The Ames Transit Agency is governed by a Board of Trustees consisting of six members.

At its meeting on Oct. 4, the board approved a solution to solve the budget shortfall due to the increase of fuel prices.

Sheri Kyras, CyRide transit director, said a lot of planning, time and consideration went into reaching the best solution.

The board decided to increase passenger fare by 25 cents, which makes it $1.25 a ride.

The Government of the Student Body also will be contributing $76,000 to CyRide, instead of an alternate option discussed of raising student fees.

“In April, we realized the impact high fuel prices would have on the next year,” Kyras said. “We then began discussing and getting public input on how to plug the budget gap.”

Meetings began in June to work through what was best for the Ames community and Iowa State. Research also was conducted on other transit systems around the nation similar to CyRide to see plans already put into place.

In August, further information was brought to the board and more meetings were held in September.

Kyras stated how important student input is on this issue, and how it was necessary for some meetings to take place while school was in session to gain more input from students.

Finally, with all of the information gathered from other institutions and communities, input from students and the public, the board was able to look at what was best for the community of Ames.

Warren Madden, ISU vice president of business and finance and one of the six members of the Board of Trustees, supports the solution.

“I support the increase rather than make additional changes, reducing services or routes,” Madden said. “The fare is consistent with many bus systems around the country.”