Community Transit will resume collecting fares on all its bus routes and DART paratransit service starting Wednesday, July 1.
The transit agency temporarily suspended fare collection in March to assist with physical distancing between drivers and customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Riders have been boarding and exiting through the middle and rear doors of the bus, except for ADA customers. On June 1, the agency restored fare collection on its Swift bus rapid transit service since riders pay their fares at Swift stations, not on the bus.
With the July 1 restart of fare collection on all buses, drivers will wear a face covering that meets Washington State Department of Labor and Industries rules while riders are onboard and have the option to wear a face shield as riders are boarding the bus. Non-ADA passengers will be asked to exit the bus through the rear doors to prevent two-way traffic at the front. The agency is also testing physical barriers around the driver compartment as a potential future solution.
Fares are resuming on July 1 to allow ORCA monthly passholders to get full value out of their July pass. ORCA retail outlets in Snohomish County are open to purchase July passes. You can visit www.communitytransit.org/orca for information about how to buy or load an ORCA fare card online or in-person, as well as a list of retail locations that provide ORCA services.
Income-eligible residents can apply for an ORCA LIFT card that allows them to pay a reduced fare. People whose household income has changed this year due to employment or other issues may qualify. More information is available at www.communitytransit.org/orcalift.
Community Transit said it has instituted a number of changes for safe travel, including closing off staggered seats to allow physical distancing on the bus. These measures will continue for the foreseeable future.
As riders return to using transit, they will notice other safety measures that have been implemented, including:
- Nightly disinfecting of all buses and paratransit vehicles.
- Encouraging riders to wear face coverings when using transit.
- Requiring drivers to wear face coverings while driving the bus with passengers onboard.
- Asking riders to wash their hands often and not to travel when sick.