Free Transit for Three Years in Charlottesville

Federal stimulus spending will enable the Charlottesville Area Transit to operate without fares for three years. The agency is also considering a plan to make the fare-free service permanent.

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April 5, 2021, 10:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Bus Station

Bram Reusen / Shutterstock

"Charlottesville Area Transit is planning not to charge for rides during the next three years," reports Katherine Knott.

Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT) Director Garland Williams last week informed the Regional Transit Partnership of the fare-free program, crediting funding from the CARES Act, approved in March 2020, and the more recent American Rescue Plan, approved in March 2021.

CAT has operating fare-free throughout the pandemic, according to Knott as a way to limit physical contact between drivers and riders. In addition to the three-year fare-free program, Williams also announced that CAT is studying making the transit system fare free permanently.

An article from earlier in March by Allison Wrabel also reports that CAT is working on a plan to restore service to pre-pandemic levels while restructuring bus service on a high frequency grid. That proposal includes an could potentially yield an increase in service hours, new weekend service, and improved frequencies and heavily used routes.

Thursday, March 25, 2021 in The Daily Progress

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