BRADENTON – At Tuesday's meeting, Manatee County Commissioners approved changes that will extend MCAT Route 16 to University Parkway, while increasing daily fares by 25 cents. Beginning October 6, Route 16 will be realigned to provide an additional connection to the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, as well as transfer opportunities to Sarasota County Area Transit.
Rider fares will be adjusted on Oct. 6 from $1.25 to $1.50; a day pass will increase from $3 to $4; and monthly passes will change from $30 to $40. Weekly MCAT passes will drop from $15 to $12 and a 25-cent transfer fee will be eliminated. The board also approved a new half-fare discount for active and retired military personnel. The fare adjustments are the first increase since 2008.
The county says that the fare adjustments and federal transit grants will set up a separate proposal to expand other routes. The county commission will consider those items this fall. As part of the FY 2014-15 budget, the BOCC will consider extending Route 6 along State Road 70 to provide a link between the Gulf beaches and Lakewood Ranch, and adding new service to connect Palmetto and Rubonia.
This spring, MCAT hosted four informal workshops to discuss the plan with the public. A fifth, more formal workshop was held in April to outline the plan, offer maps and take questions and feedback from the public. For more information on the proposed route improvements and fare modifications, visit www.mymanatee.org/mcat.
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