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RACINE – Free bus rides on RYDE, the Racine Area Public Transit, will end on Monday, Sept. 28. RYDE suspended fares on March 26 as an emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce close contact between riders and between riders and drivers at the farebox.
RYDE officials reported in a news release that resumption of fare collection is made possible by the widespread (and required) use of facemasks on city buses and new Plexiglas shields, which have been installed to separate drivers and riders. Passengers will again be allowed to board buses using the front door.
“People rely on the bus to get to work, the grocery, and the doctor. It is a critical service for many in our community. Our goal during the pandemic was to keep service running but to do so in as safe a way as possible. In order to keep both drivers and passengers safe, we took measures to limit interactions, which included interactions at the front of the bus while collecting fares. We installed additional safety measures and are confident that we can safely resume fare collection,” said Michael Maierle, the City of Racine Transit and Parking System Manager.
The maximum number of riders on the bus has been increased to 15 because the front seats are now generally available when not in use by persons with disabilities. Every second seat has now been marked as unavailable to facilitate social distancing. Small children are exempted from those rules for safety reasons.
Fares will remain unchanged. Residents looking to purchase 10-ride or 30-day passes can find them at the following locations:
- Bus Administrative Office, 1900 Kentucky St., Racine
- Piggly Wiggly, 4011 Durand Ave., Racine.
- Malicki’s Piggly Wiggly, 5201 Washington Ave., Mount Pleasant.
- Pick ‘n Save, 2820 S. Green Bay Rd., Mount Pleasant.
- Pick ‘n Save, 5111 Douglas Ave., Caledonia.
- Gateway Technical College, 1001 S. Main St., Racine.
- Festival Foods, 5740 Washington Ave., Mount Pleasant.