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State ferries propose fare increase

The Washington State Transportation Commission Tuesday released its proposal to raise ferry fares.

The potential increase  come in effort to meet an overall revenue target of $310 million expected to be generated from ferry fares between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2013, to aid the state budget.

The Commission will visit ferry-served communities to gather input on their proposal at the end of the month and early August. Changes in the proposal could occur as a result of public comment.

General Fare Increase is planned at a 2.5 percent and proposed to take effect Oct. 1, 2011. An additional 3 percent general fare increase is proposed to take effect May 1, 2012.

The proposal also includes vehicle size category changes and plans to drop the annual bicycle permit for passengers paying with monthly passes, multi-ride cards.

Also included is a fuel surcharge mechanism to pay for unexpected spikes in fuel prices in addition to  a system-wide capital surcharge of 25 cents per fare.

The commission will hold public outreach meetings in several Kitsap County locations.

Bremerton’s session is set for Wednesday, Aug. 3, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Kitsap Conference Center.

The commission will take public comment at each hearing.

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