More than two years after implementing a zero-fare policy as a coronavirus safety measure, the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) has released a structure to renew fares beginning with a pilot program scheduled to kick off Monday, Aug. 1.
In preparation to begin collecting fares, TARTA conducted a fare study that analyzed the Authority’s pre-COVID fare structure; conducted a state and national peer and best practice review; and established fare goals of simplification, alignment, affordability and modernization.
Study results were presented to the TARTA Board of Trustees at their May 19th meeting. TARTA’s simplified fare structure adds a day pass that can be purchased on board or at area locations, where pre-COVID day passes were available only through the EZfare app.
It also expands the types of riders eligible for discounted fares to include veterans and active-duty military.
How much will it cost to ride the bus?
Pass Type Pre-COVID Fare Structure Pilot Program Fare Structure (Begins Aug. 1) Regular $1.50 (no transfers) $1.50 (free transfers within 2 hours of ticket purchase)
Reduced Fare $0.75 Remains same
TARPS $3 ($30 10-trip pass) Remains same
Call-A-Ride $3 Remains same
Day Pass $5 (EZfare only) $3 7-Day Pass $15 ($7.50 reduced fare) Remains same
30-Day Pass $60 ($30 reduced fare) $45 ($22.50 reduced fare)
TARTA is eliminating tokens and the TARPS 20-trip pass from its fare structure.
“We are proud to be one of the first transit agencies in the country to go to a zero-fare system during the pandemic, but it is now time to invest and expand our system as people are returning to work and re-engaging with life after the pandemic,” said TARTA CEO Laura Koprowski. “This equitable and affordable fare structure recognizes the value of public transportation, and the fares will be re-invested back into the system.
“Our value to TARTA customers is more access and increased reliability as a ride to work, medical appointments, grocery shopping and so many other essential destinations.”
New fare boxes and validators placed on TARTA vehicles will be capable of accepting digital payments through the EZfare app in addition to passes and cash payments. TARTA will conduct a six-month pilot program – approved by the Federal Transit Administration – and host community meetings in late 2022 before proposing a permanent fare structure to its Board of Trustees.
In addition to downloading and purchasing passes on the EZfare app, customers can pay for passes on board or at TARTA facilities. Passes and EZfare credit will also be available for purchase at other area locations, and TARTA will provide a complete list of those in the coming weeks.
TARTA’s simplified fare structure adds a day pass that can be purchased on board or at area locations, where pre-COVID day passes were available only through the EZfare app. TARTA is eliminating tokens and the TARPS 20-trip pass from its fare structure. Individual customers or organizations who have less than 10 tokens and trade them in one-way tickets through September 30, 2022. Those will 10 or fewer passes can turn them in passes of the same value. Organizations with more than 10 passes from 2020 can also trade those in for current passes of the same value.
Individuals who wish to exchange more than 10 tokens or passes should call (419) 245-5203 to schedule an appointment at TARTA’s Central Avenue headquarters (1127 W. Central Avenue).
Reduced fare rides are available to:
- Seniors (65 and over)
- Persons with disabilities
- Medicare card holders
- Youth ages 6-18 with a valid ID
- Active-duty military
Children under the age of 6 may ride for free. TARPS-eligible riders may take zerofare trips on either fixed route or Call-A-Ride vehicles.