The city of Cedar Rapids has not charged bus fares since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that it was an effort to eliminate contact between drivers and passengers. But that could all be changing later this summer under a new plan announced this week.

When the city does begin charging fares again, a new simplified and equitable fare system has been suggested. The new plan would look to boost ridership numbers as well as reduce confusion on who pays what to ride. The Gazette reports that the proposal made to the city of Cedar Rapids looks like this.

  • The full fare would be down to $1 instead of $1.50.
  • Instead of a half fare system for some riders, the city is proposing FREE rides for the following people: Seniors age 65 and older with proof of age, Passengers with disabilities with a free fare ID card, Medicare passengers with their Medicare cards, Low-income passengers with a free fare ID card, Children age 12 and under.

The other ride passes would then be:

  • 31-day pass - $30
  • 10-day pass - $10
  • Day passes - $2
  • Single ride blue ticket - 50 cents
  • ADA paratransit service - $2

The Gazette reports that the current student-sponsored fare program expires at the end of June, but officials say that Kirkwood Community College and Cedar Rapids Schools are renewing. Conversations are continuing with Linn-Mar and College Community Schools.

Officials say that the lower fares will help riders avoid scrambling for change. The Gazette reports that ridership in Cedar Rapids has slowly risen to around 57% of ridership prior to the pandemic. But city officials say with rising gas prices, more people may end up using public transit.

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