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‘Free Fares July’ returns to Stanislaus and Merced counties
Turlock Transit
All rides on fixed-route, commuter and ADA Paratransit buses will be free for passengers throughout next month as part of Free Fares July (Journal file photo).

Need a ride during the hottest month of the year? Public transit agencies are offering a convenient — and free — solution with the return of a popular promotion.

The Stanislaus Regional Transit Authority (StanRTA), the City of Turlock (Turlock Transit) and The Transit Joint Powers Authority for Merced County (The Bus), announced that all rides on fixed-route, commuter and ADA Paratransit buses will be free for passengers next month as part of Free Fares July. This includes local fixed-route services as well as ACE, BART and Stockton Commuter bus services, The Micro Bus in Merced County, ADA Paratransit and Medivan. 

“Through our Free Fares Project, we’re able to provide free, safe, and reliable transportation services for residents to travel to educational institutions, employment centers, medical offices, grocery stores, and shopping malls,” said Adam Barth, StanRTA CEO. “Free Fares July helps make it possible for riders to use public transportation without any financial hardship.”

“Our goal is to increase public transit use and improve air quality while at the same time reducing traffic congestion and harmful emissions,” added Wayne York, Transit Manager for Turlock Transit. “We look forward to providing free trips to regional areas of interest, including the annual County Fair.”

Residents who’d like to take advantage are encouraged to plan their trips in advance using tools are available on the transit operators websites: www.mercedthebus.comwww.turlocktransit.com and www.stanrta.org, as well as through smartphone apps such as the Transit app, Google Maps or StanRTA’s Track the S app – all available for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play Stores. These tools can help determine the closest bus stop, the correct route, and access real-time bus arrival information.

Funding for the joint free-ride promotion is made possible through a grant from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) under the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program (LCTOP), as well as other transit funding sources. 

The Stanislaus County regional transit operators have also used the LCTOP grant to provide free-ride promotional opportunities such as Go Green Week in March, Earth Day in April, and Dump the Pump Day in June, with more free fare periods planned through June 2025.

All public transit buses in Stanislaus and Merced Counties are accessible to individuals with disabilities as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).