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As Free Fares Wind Down, What’s Next for FAX Riders?

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Buses in Fresno have been free to riders since a pandemic-inspired policy change in March. But, with COVID emergencies orders starting to wind down, so will free ridership.

Photo of GV Wire's David Taub

David Taub

Politics 101

Fare-free FAX rides are set to expire when the city lifts its emergency order. While no exact date has been set, the city council is already planning ahead.

Councilman Tyler Maxwell — the proponent of the free fares — says there is enough money, thanks to federal funds, for the program to last through September.

“In the meantime, the City Council and Administration are working on a proposed permanent reduction of bus fares from $1.25 to $1.00, as well as provide ongoing Zero Fare service for all children under 12, all Fresno Unified students, local college students, and veterans, contingent on support from said agencies. Zero Fare ensures equitable transportation options for the Fresno community for years to come,” Maxwell texted Politics 101.

Maxwell is also optimistic of funding from Fresno State, Fresno City College, and Fresno Unified.


Also in Politics 101: 

  • Fresno City Council has until July 11 to override veto
  • State of the City returns June 25

Flag Veto Clock Ticking

The clock is ticking for the Fresno City Council to override Mayor Jerry Dyer’s first veto. Last Friday, Dyer officially rejected a change to the city flag-flying policy as approved by the city council on May 27. The city council has until July 11 and would need five votes.

The city council voted 5-2 to take over setting policy on what flags can fly on city poles. Councilman Mike Karbassi was one of the five. He said that he hasn’t decided how he would vote on a potential override.

“I’m looking forward to the debate and a solution,” Karbassi said.

Flag poles have been installed at Eaton Plaza (GV Wire/David Taub)

With Dyer’s veto, the power of deciding which flags fly at City Hall reverted back to the city manager.

Dyer’s veto came after the pomp and circumstance of the first Gay Pride flag raising at City Hall. The festive event drew hundreds, including a supportive Dyer. The mayor initially proposed raising the Pride flag at Eaton Plaza instead.

“I know the City Council and I can work together to develop a better way to celebrate the diversity of Fresno,” Dyer said in his veto message.

Dyer suggested using both City Hall and the recently-constructed flag area at Eaton Plaza. The mayor also suggested events to celebrate such as Greek, Indian and Mexican independence, Juneteenth, and (Gay) Pride.

State of the City Next Week

The mayor’s State of the City address returns to a live format with a light breakfast next week.

Organized by the Fresno Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Jerry Dyer will deliver his speech at Chukchansi Park. The Friday, June 25 event starts at 8:30 a.m.

Dyer will speak from a stage set up on the field, approximately from the pitcher mound. Seating will be in the stands. The chamber expects around 1,500 to attend.

Prior to the pandemic, audiences heard the State of the City speech at a luncheon, usually at the convention center.

Instead of the traditional format with dining tables, patrons can pick up pastries and coffee at the concession stands.

The event will also feature local entertainment acts.

Tickets are $20 for chamber members and $30 for nonmembers. You can purchase tickets at this link.

COVID forced a cancellation of the in-person 2020 event, but KSEE-24 aired Mayor Lee Brand’s speech in a TV-only special.

Chamber CEO/President Scott Miller says Dyer’s address will air on KSEE at a soon-to-be-announced time.

 

David Taub has spent most of his career in journalism behind the scenes working as a TV assignment editor and radio producer. For more than a decade, he has worked in the Fresno market with such stops at KSEE-24, KMJ and Power Talk 96.7. Taub also worked the production and support side of some of TV sports biggest events including the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals and NASCAR to name a few. Taub graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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