The Stanislaus Regional Transit Authority (StanRTA) announced this past week that all rides will be free for passengers during August and September 2021 as part of a welcome back to public transit promotion. This includes all fixed routes; MAX to BART Commuter Express; MAX to ACE Commuter Express; StaRT’s BART Commuter bus services; and ADA Paratransit, Medivan, and Dial-a-Ride services.
“With the merging of Modesto Area Express (MAX) and Stanislaus Regional Transit (StaRT) to form the new StanRTA, we are excited to invite riders back to public transit with free rides now that many COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted,” said Adam Barth, StanRTA Director of Operations and Planning. “We want to let the community know that transit is safe and here for them whether they are new or seasoned transit users.”
The goal of the free ride promotion is to reduce the use of single occupant vehicles in an effort to reduce traffic congestion, pollution, and countless hours wasted on freeways. Public transportation ridership has fallen since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. StanRTA hopes to use the free rides to reassure the community that public transportation is safe to ride.
“MAX and StaRT buses are sanitized nightly with hospital-grade disinfectant and masks are required by the Federal Transit Administration until September 13 regardless of vaccination status,” said Barth.
Residents are encouraged to make the most of this free ride promotion by planning their trips in advance. Trip planning tools are available on the websites of the transit operators, as well as through smartphone apps such as Google Maps and an app called Transit. These tools make it easy to determine the closest bus stop, the correct route, and access real-time bus arrival information.
All public transit buses in the county are accessible to individuals with disabilities as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
For more information about StanRTA, visit www.stanrta.org. In addition, routes and schedules for the transit services can be found at www.modestoareaexpress.com and www.srt.org. The public is also welcomed to attend the StanRTA board meetings held on the fourth Thursday of each month at 1 p.m.