The Capital District Transportation Authority will hold a public hearing next month on a proposal to lower fares on the Northway Xpress commuter bus service in an effort to increase ridership.
The hearing will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 13 at the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library.
CDTA officials said the proposed fare changes would reduce the number of fare zones from five to three, and generally reduce the cost of riding between 10 percent and 30 percent.
“We’re hoping more people take a look at the Northway XPress as an affordable commuter option,” said CDTA spokeswoman Margo Janack.
The Northway Xpress, sometimes called NX, uses rented coach buses to provide weekday commuter service on the Northway from Saratoga County to downtown Albany — a trip made by many state employees and other downtown workers. CDTA maintains park and ride lots for their use near the stops.
The service runs from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., five days a week.
Under the proposed changes, the three fare zones would be South Glens Falls/Saratoga Springs, $7 trip or $50 for a 10-trip pass; Ballston Spa/Malta, $5 per trip or $40 for 10 trips; and Clifton Park, $4 per trip or $35 for a 10-trip pass. There would be further discounts for using a monthly Swiper pass, something not now available on the commuter service.
Public meetings about the proposed changes were held earlier this month, and drew about 25 people in Saratoga Springs and 40 people in Clifton Park, CDTA officials said.
With the proposed changes, the per-trip cost is lower for riders, with the biggest reductions for those commuting from the northern part of the county.
“The goal is to make [the fare system] easier for people to understand and use and make it more affordable and hopefully attract new riders,” Janack said.
The public hearing is required before CDTA can take final action. The CDTA board of directors is expected to consider approving the fare changes, with any post-hearing modifications, at an Aug. 29 meeting.