I spent a half-hour at American River College this afternoon getting my Spring sticker on my student ID. For the sum of $10, I get $500 worth of unlimited rides on Sacramento Regional Transit over the next five months. Even if you add in the $140 for two classes and the $1 for "student representation," the $151 I paid is an obvious bargain.
This brings me back to my post in August, when I purchased my Fall sticker. I marveled then, as I do today, about what having "free" transit means for me. Yes, I'd probably still ride if I had to pay the full fare, but not nearly as often.
Everyone pays for parks. Everyone pays for libraries. Everyone pays for public schools. Why isn't transit viewed as a public service in the same way?
Today, RT takes in something on the order of $2.6 million a month in fares. (At least that was what they brought in before the fare hikes went into effect this month.) That's less than $2 per person in the RT service area.
Would it really be so difficult to pay $2 a month to provide a free public transit system that everyone would benefit from? RT could use the savings from not having to sell tickets or collect fares to expand its services.