JUNE 28, 2021 – GoCary, GoDurham, GoRaleigh and GoTriangle are pleased to announce that they will continue to suspend bus fares through June 30, 2022.
The transit agencies suspended fares in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic as they asked riders to use the rear door to board buses to help maintain social distancing. They also sought to ease financial burdens for the frontline workers and community members who were relying on transit to get to critical jobs or food and health care. Chapel Hill Transit is free all the time.
The agencies and their governing boards have decided not to include fare revenue in the budgets prepared for fiscal year 2022, which starts July 1 and runs through June 30, 2022. The agencies will continue to follow all federal safety guidelines regarding cleaning, masks and social distancing.
With the continued fare suspension, the transit agencies are committed to the safety of passengers and employees and also want to help Triangle residents take advantage of all of the opportunities the Triangle provides – at a time when many folks are having financial challenges. They also hope suspended fares will encourage others to try transit as a means of avoiding congestion and helping to address climate change.
Only GoDurham has returned to all-door boarding, and the federal mask requirement for all public transit providers remains in place through Sept. 13 and may be extended beyond that date by federal, state or local orders.
“The transit providers in our area are suspending all fares for the next year to ensure that our residents can access jobs, health care, education and other opportunities regardless of their financial situation while maintaining their safety as well as that of our operators,” said Michael Parker, chairman of the GoTriangle Board of Trustees. “We are looking forward to welcoming all residents of the Triangle onto our vehicles.”
Federal financial assistance has helped the agencies continue the fare suspension through FY2022. This funding was provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security or CARES Act passed in March 2020, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act passed in December 2020 and the American Rescue Plan Act passed in March 2021. These three relief measures allowed the Federal Transit Administration to allocate nearly $70 billion in federal funding nationally to help public transportation systems respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we finally start to emerge from this pandemic, our transit agencies see this as an opportunity to do something good for the community while we also welcome back riders and attract new ones,” said GoTriangle President and CEO Charles E. Lattuca. “We’ll bring even more value to the federal money as we use it to expand equity and impact our community in a positive way.”