PORTLAND -- TriMet riders unhappy with a fare increase that took effect Wednesday held a protest at Portland City Hall.
TriMet faces a $27 million budget hole as fares went up a nickel. Starting September 5th, TriMet will reduce service aboard dozens of bus lines and cut two routes completely.
Also, anyone waiting for a train will have to wait an extra two minutes.
A group called Bus Riders Unite demanded a plan of action to reverse those changes.
I know that this isn't a good time to raise prices for anybody you know people are struggling, said MAX customer Michael Lewis.
Student Trisha Whitman said it's tough for her to get home at night.
TriMet spokesperson Bekki Witt says with so much of TriMet's funding dependent upon payroll taxes, the state's unemployment situation is taking an indirect bite out of the agency's budget.
We are doing the best we can. This has been really tough time for us, she said.
The TriMet board voted last March to make the moves, citing the effects of the recession and declining payroll tax revenues. The service cuts were proposed last January and made final after a series of public hearings.
The cost of an adult, all-zone ticket goes from $2.30 to $2.35 and a monthly pass from $86 to $88. Youth and student fares remain the same.
Honored Citizen tickets go up from 95 cents to $1 for all-zone tickets and $25 to $26 for a monthly pass.
The agency is promoting the bond measure as a means to replace older buses with ones better equipped to serve aging boomers.
If approved, it would assess a tax of 8 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation, or $28 for the owner of a $350,000 house.