Los Angeles County transit officials shelved a controversial plan Thursday to raise Antelope Valley bus fares as well as expand bus service, opting to instead study cheaper transportation alternatives.
Transit officials said the decision to delay the plan for at least one year comes after Lancaster and Palmdale authorities complained about the high cost of the proposal. The county had asked the two cities to provide up to $1.9 million to subsidize more than $3 million in additional transit services.
The plan also called for general fares to be increased from 50 to 75 cents, the first hike in eight years. The 20-cent fare for students, senior citizens and the handicapped would have been increased to 35 cents.
Representatives from various Antelope Valley social service agencies had said the fare hikes and some of the proposed bus route changes would make traveling more difficult for senior citizens and others who rely on public transportation.
County officials had planned to use the additional fare revenue and city subsidies to double the number of buses serving the Antelope Valley to 28. Bus service in the Antelope Valley is provided by a private company under county contract.
A planning committee of the county Transportation Commission agreed Thursday to fund a private study of the Antelope Valley's transit needs this fall before considering any changes, a commission spokeswoman said.
County officials said they still intend to ask the two cities to help pay for additional services in the future. The full commission is slated to ratify the deal June 27.