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Council to consider reducing bus fares for veterans, Dial-A-Ride share discount
council preview
The City Council will consider reduced bus fares for active military personnel and veterans, along with shared ride discounts for Dial-A-Ride passengers. - photo by Journal file photo

Local veterans and active military personnel may soon be paying less for a ride on Turlock Transit, as the Turlock City Council will consider reducing bus fares for those who have served the country. The City of Turlock is also looking to make Dial-A-Ride more affordable for the city’s senior citizens and individuals with disabilities who use the curb-to-curb bus service.

The City Council is set to consider making three changes to Turlock’s transit services. The first would create two additional fare levels for Dial-A-Ride, which would provide discounts to passengers who travel together. If two passengers use Dial-A-Ride for the same trip, as part of the same reservation, each passenger would pay $1.50 for a one-way trip, instead of the standard fare of $2.50. If three or more passengers use Dial-A-Ride for the same trip, each passenger would pay $1.

“This is an innovative way to drive down the cost to the passenger, while at the same time ensuring the City received the necessary revenue to cover its operating costs for providing the service,” states the City staff report on the agenda item.

The second transit change to be considered is authorizing the City Manager to designate temporary fare reductions or elimination for promotional or emergency purposes. This would allow the City Manager to reduce bus fares during “Go Green Week” or for special events, like the Stanislaus County Fair. In some instances, temporarily lifting bus fares is needed for public safety reasons.

City staff cited the recent flooding in the county and the use of the fairgrounds as an American Red Cross disaster shelter as an example of when temporarily eliminating bus fares would have benefited those in need.

The last transit change would allow active duty service members and honorably discharged veterans of any branch of the United States Military qualify for discounted fares on the fixed route bus system.

If approved, qualifying passengers would board a bus and show proper military or veteran identification and receive the discounted fare rate — $.75 instead of $1.50 for single trip, $1.75 instead of $3.50 for all-day pass or $25 instead of $50 for a 31-day pass.

The forms of identification that would be needed to receive the discounted fare are: a government-issued military ID; or a California driver’s license with a “Veteran” designation; or a DD-214 form along with photo ID or a membership card; or a membership card from a military service organization such as the American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars.

If approved, all the transit service changes would go into effect July 1. The City Council will not be considering changes to the Turlock Transit base fares.

The Turlock City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Yosemite Room at City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.