YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Western Reserve Transit Authority announced Tuesday that free fares on all WRTA buses will be extended through December 31, 2021.
The free fares were implemented last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While that situation has improved in recent months, the Valley is still recovering from its effects in many ways. We want to continue to make it easy for our riders to get to and from their jobs, to medical appointments, and to the many retail areas we serve in Mahoning County and the City of Warren,” said WRTA Executive Director Dean Harris.
Social distancing on board WRTA’s large buses has been relaxed, and seats that had been blocked off are now available again. However, in accordance with CDC guidelines, passengers are still required to wear face coverings when riding all WRTA buses. And riders should still board WRTA’s Fixed Route buses from the rear door (with the exception of riders using wheelchairs or strollers).
The free fare policy applies to all WRTA services: Fixed Route, Late Night, Countywide and ADA All-Access.
The transit system is also celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. Since 1971, WRTA has helped residents across the Valley get to their destinations.
New routes are being planned in North Jackson, around Youngstown State University and possibly Akron.
For 50 years, WRTA has survived the steel mills closing and the pandemic.
“That people need transportation, aren’t dependent on cars. They need to go to work, get to school and get to health appointment. It has been nice to help them out in the good times and the bad times,” Harris said.