An Ocean City bus is pictured at a stop near 118th Street. A $1 increase in the fare to ride the bus all day is pending official implementation as a state-mandated process is followed to determine if a public hearing is needed.

Notices issued for public comment

Notices are out and an official letter has been sent to bump Ocean City’s all-day bus fares from $3 to $4, and if all goes smoothly, the new rates should be in place by the end of April at the latest.

At an informational Transportation Committee meeting Tuesday, Transit Manager Rob Shearman said staff sent a letter to Maryland Transportation Administration Regional Planner Jason Kepple to inform him that notices have been issued regarding town officials’ desire to change the bus rates.

Shearman said the notices soliciting public comment on the request were posted through various mediums and that members of the public have until April 10 to respond and ask for a public hearing.

If no hearing is requested, the rates will go into effect at that time. If comments are received that require a hearing, it will take place on April 17 and the new rates will likely be implemented later.

City Council members voted in a 5-1 majority last week, with Councilman Peter Buas opposed and Councilwoman Carol Proctor absent, to increase the fares for both buses and Boardwalk trams by $1.

The new tram fare, which is moving from $4 to $5, is in effect now and will be charged to riders as soon as the vehicles hit the boards for Springfest in May.

The bus fare needed a few more steps, though, because the bus division receives state funding.

Officials are confident the change will be made, and Mayor Rick Meehan, who chairs the Transportation Committee, said Tuesday that he has already directed tourism staff members to advertise the new summer bus and tram rates in promotional materials.

This story appears in the March 17, 2023 print edition of the OC Today.

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