Proposed rate hikes for Handybus users

People riding the Scotts Bluff County Handybus may be paying more in the future.

Under rate increases proposed Monday evening by County Operations Director Carol Prince, riders picked up in Lyman and Morrill would see the one way rate increase from $4 to $5. Riders from Melbeta, Mitchell and Minatare will pay $4 instead of $3 one way and those in Scottsbluff and Gering will see a jump to $2 from $1.50 one way.

Prince says the rate increases are necessary to help cover some of the increased cost for the service and reduce the impact on county taxpayers. The rate hikes are projected to generate another $4,300 in the next fiscal year, reducing the taxpayer burden from $55,000 to $51,000.

Prince and commission members admit the hikes may be difficult for those on fixed incomes who rely on the service. Prince says she expects a lot of people to show up for a public hearing on the proposed increases, which could be as early as the board's next meeting November 13th.

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