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Spokane Transit Suspends Fares During Period Of Personal Distancing

Spokane Transit has suspended bus fares temporarily while the county deals with restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus.

The agency’s ridership is way down in this ‘stay-at-home’ time. Passenger numbers are about a third of normal. The number of people riding the paratransit vans is one-fifth of normal.

Buses are places where people sit close to each other, so it’s no surprise it may not be a desirable way to get around. But it still has value for some riders.

“Our goal is to reduce the number of transactions we have at the fare box with the coach operator," said STA spokesman Brandon Rapez-Betty. "Most passengers will also board the buses through the rear door of the bus. Those passengers who do require mobility assistance can continue to use the front door. The intended effect of these two practices is to keep our coach and van operators healthy so that they can continue to drive the buses and provide transportation services throughout this emergency.”

He says transit is disinfecting its buses and vans every night after the day’s service and trying to clean a second time during the day, if possible.

The downtown plaza remains open, though all public seating and waiting areas are closed.

Because its vans are not used much these days, the agency transit has begun a temporary program for seniors, for passengers 60 and older who need to do essential business, such as grocery shopping and doctor visits. People who want to use that service can call the agency and schedule a time to be picked up and dropped off.