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AGO Opinions with Topic: HANDICAPPED PERSONS
AGO 1980 No. 25 >  December 31, 1980
COUNTIES - TRANSPORTATION - OLD AGE - CHILDREN - HANDICAPPED PERSONS
REDUCED OR ELIMINATED TRANSIT FARES FOR SENIOR CITIZENS, SCHOOL CHILDREN OR LOW INCOME OR HANDICAPPED INDIVIDUALS (1) A county transportation authority organized under chapter 36.57 RCW may entirely eliminate fares for all transit users if the system it operates can be sustained from taxes or other available revenues. (2) A county transportation authority may, likewise, reduce or eliminate fares for all classes of users during non-peak hours only, for the purpose of achieving a more balanced and economical operation.(3) Both because of a lack of statutory authority and possible constitutional objections under Washington Constitution, Article VIII, section 7, however, a county transportation authority may not, instead, directly reduce or eliminate fares only for (a) senior citizens, a category being created only on the basis of age, or (b) students attending public schools except (in the latter case) through an interlocal cooperation act agreement with participating school districts.(4) Likewise, although such action would not be constitutionally objectionable in the case of low income citizens or the handicapped, a county transportation authority presently lacks the requisite statutory authority to reduce or to entirely eliminate fares for those individuals.
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