Utah Transit Authority directors tentatively have approved hiking bus fares 20 to 30 percent, with higher fuel costs getting most of the blame.

"Diesel fuel has risen to near $1.10 a gallon," said General Manager John Pingree, "and our fuel-cost increase alone, next year, will be $2 million."We haven't had a major fare increase since 1981 and we're well below the national average," Pingree said. The national average-adult fare is now 67 cents, and it will probably be rising, he said.

Assistant General Manager John Inglish said the staff is proposing to offer discount packages, for a short time, to help buffer passengers from the increases. The proposed deal would offer a 10-ride packet for $5, or 50 cents a ride.

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(Chart)

How would you fare?

PER RIDE

Current Proposed

Type Fare Increase

Adult $.50 $.65

Premium $1.25 $1.50

Worker express $.60

$ .75

Senior-disabled $.25 $.30

Flextrans $.50 $.65

MONTHLY PASS

Current Proposed

Type Fare Increase

Adult $18 $24

Premium $50 $60

Worker express $22 $27

Senior-disabled $9 $11

College student $13 $17

Minor $13 $17