Valley Transit will offer free rides starting June 1 and running until Sept. 1.
U-B file photo
Valley Transit is going fare-free this summer.
Walla Walla’s municipal transit service is on board to offer free transportation, June 1-Sept. 1, said General Manager Dick Fondahn.
The free service extends to shuttle buses to the Fair and Valley Transit’s Dial-A-Ride program for seniors and those with disabilities. The Job Access transportation will operate at regular fares with a $12-per-month pass, Fondahn said.
This is the third time in the past seven years that Valley Transit has offered free fares for the summer.
“It makes sense for us to help families with transportation solutions when their kids need a ride to summer recreation programs and we have extra capacity we’d like to put to good use when schools and colleges are closed for summer vacation,” Fondahn said in an email response.
When Valley Transit offered free fares in 2006, the bus service saw a 57 percent spike in summer ridership. The next year, when the program was repeated, ridership jumped 25 percent, Fondahn said.
“It was gratifying to us that even after fares were resumed in September, ridership maintained over 10 percent higher than in years prior to the summer promotion.”
Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at 509-526-8321, email@example.com or on Twitter.