- Associated Press - Thursday, May 5, 2016

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - The public transit board in Dubuque has recommended imposing a new bus fare to deter boisterous students from riding for entertainment.

The Telegraph Herald (http://bit.ly/1WaMzvT ) reports that the city’s Transit Advisory Board recommendation is spurred by consistent complaints from riders about “loud, profane and aggressive” students who often pack the buses after classes dismiss.

“There are kids who are getting on and off the bus a block later just to cause chaos with other passengers or drivers,” said Matt Esser, chairman of the City of Dubuque’s Transit Advisory Board. “.Because it’s free, I don’t think they respect it as much. Most kids are good and decent, but there will always be a few that don’t respect it.”

Under the recommendation, students younger than 11 years-old would be able to ride for free with a swipe card. Students between 11 and 18 would have to purchase a $10 annual pass or pay 75 cents per ride.

City transit manager Candace Eudaley-Loebach said the students intimidate the general public from taking transit in the early morning and afternoon.

Currently, Dubuque allows students to ride the city’s buses for free by showing their pass or ID. A survey by the city’s transit system shows that Davenport is the only other city in Iowa to do so.

Other cities charge between 60 cents and $1.55 per ride, or $160 to $200 for an annual pass.

Eudaley-Loebach said the fare would be meant to deter teens who ride the bus for entertainment purposes rather than transportation.

“We do have a large number of students who ride just to ride,” Eudaley-Loebach said. “Thirty kids get on just to go a couple of blocks. and wreak havoc on the bus and jump off a couple blocks later, when it’s clearly a walkable distance.”

The new fare would take effect Aug. 1 if the City Council approves the recommendation in June.

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com

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