Troup Transit to increase costs per trip on non-public trips

Published 10:35 am Thursday, January 20, 2022

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Troup County Transit announced this week that it’s planning to increase its trip fare from $7.30 to $12.65 for Demographic and Health Surveys agencies. This increase does not include public trips.

“This is the first significant trip cost increase in at least 10 years,” said Corey Dunn, the transit coordinator.

DHS trips, Dunn explained, are specified for the different agencies Troup Transit works with, including the Active Life in LaGrange and Hogansville and the Pathway Service Center. Agencies like those use state funding, Dunn said.

Troup Transit decided on this $5.35 increase due to an increase in the cost per trip caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Several agencies we have worked with before COVID have not yet renewed services with us, cutting our amount of trips we usually conduct by 66%,” Dunn said. “In that time, we have seen our expenses increase … we’ve added a full-time driver, and gasoline prices are up 65% higher than last year. With those increases and loss of revenue from the fewer trips, we’re not covering the cost of trips we are making.”

Though Troup Transit has funds from the CARES Act in reserves, the amount it has is not enough to cover operations on a long-term basis, Dunn added.

Dunn additionally inquired the board permission to apply for a grant with DHS.

The board approved the request, along with the request to increase its fare, at its regular meeting Tuesday night. I

n a previous meeting, Troup Transit applied for a Georgia Department of Transportation grant. Both grants are used to assist the operations of the transit.

“We’ll need the DHS contract increase to break even with the [costs increase],” Dunn said.

According to county documents, Troup Transit, which assists elderly and disabled Troup County citizens with their traveling needs, averages approximately 3,500 DHS trips per month in conjunction with 500 DOT trips per month, prior to COVID.

DHS passengers are not charged for transportation as a result of having the DHS Grant program active within the Troup County community.

Troup Transit will receive approximately up to $300,000 annually from the DHS Grant to supplement the Troup Transit program, the documents state.

Troup Transit is reimbursed for providing trips to DHS clients throughout the year.

In other business at the meeting:

The board approved a resolution to set the 2022 qualifying fee for county elections.

Those fees are associated with those who are running for various county-wide elections and are required every year before election. These fees are set at 3% of the minimum base salary.