By Rae Hodge–
Starting August 1, Trans Authority of River City (TARC) will reduce service under a plan authorized June 25 by the TARC Board of Directors. Seven routes will be discontinued as part of the proposed cuts announced two months ago.
#74-Jeffersonville Park and Ride, #65x-Southern Indiana Express and #73x-Charlestown Road Express will all be discontinued as part of a restructuring of service in Indiana, although the overall amount of service is set to increase.
The other two routes that will be discontinued are #37x-Iroquois-Fairdale Express and #38x-Deering Road Express.
Four express routes originally proposed for elimination – #45-Okolona Express, #53X-Breckenridge Express, #54x-Manslick Express and #68x-Prospect Express – will continue operating without change.
Although sections of those routes were to be eliminated in the proposal, routing will not change for the following four routes: #29-Eastern Parkway, #39-Middletown, #55-Westport Road, and #49x-Westport Road Express. Instead, services will be reduced.
Although steeper service cuts were originally proposed to help offset a projected deficit in the fiscal year that begins July 1, TARC says that they were able to avoid closing multiple routes, citing recent financial developments. TARC secured a contract to purchase diesel fuel at prices lower than estimated, resulting in significant savings. The bulk of TARC’s operating budget exceeded May estimates.
“TARC was able to make the best of bad circumstances but we are still cutting service at a time when we should be increasing service to meet a growing demand,” said J. Barry Barker, TARC executive director.
The cuts are estimated to save TARC $607,000 in operating costs in the next fiscal year. Fare increases previously approved to help offset the projected budget shortfall took effect on July 1.
A list of route and schedule changes is available in more detail at www.ridetarc.org.
Photo by Shelby Stafford, The Louisville Cardinal