Bus fares will increase Feb. 1 from 50 cents to 65 cents for a single adult ride and pass prices will go up to $24 on March 1, the Utah Transit Authority said.

The UTA board approved the rate increases Wednesday following several weeks of public hearings. Assistant manager John Inglish said there were those at the hearings who opposed the increase, but the overall consensus was higher fares aren't bad if service improves."My recommendation was to increase the fares to 60 cents, but the board felt the full 65 cents was necessary to improve service," Inglish said, noting UTA's rising diesel fuel costs prompted the fare hike.

He said the increase in fares will raise an additional $200,000 in annual revenue to cover fuel costs and fund extra buses during peak-demand periods.

Fares for the elderly and disabled will rise 5 cents to 30 cents, as proposed, but their monthly passes will rise only $1 from the present $9.

Premium-express fares will go up 25 cents to $1.50, worker service to 75 cents from 60 and Flextrans to 65 cents from 50.

Premium and express monthly passes will be $60, up from $50, and college students and minors will pay $15. Quarterly adult passes will be $74 and weekly will be $6.50.