BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Baton Rouge's bus system next month will begin collecting fares for the first time in more than a year.
The Capital Area Transit System said Thursday the drivers will resume requiring fares on Sunday, May 16. The bus system began waiving fares in April 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fare to ride a CATS bus is $1.75 per trip for most customers.
CATS says it will continue using barriers, among other precautions, in its buses to protect both drivers and riders from the coronavirus, news outlets reported.
“We take the health and safety of both our operators and the community seriously,” said CATS CEO Bill Deville. “We have waited to resume fare collection until we felt we could safely do so,” he continued.
Officials say many other municipal transportation systems around the country waived fares to help passengers at the onset of the pandemic. Most agencies have been able to implement safeguards to resume collection, officials say.
“While passenger fares do not comprise a large portion of our operating budget, we are also obligated to be fiscally responsible while we continue to connect customers to jobs and their community,” Deville said.