Ride the bus? 2022 could bring changes to how you pay to ride in Spokane

Sta Buses
Copyright 4 News Now

SPOKANE, Wash. — The new year could bring new changes when it comes to how you pay to ride the bus.

The Spokane Transit Authority is proposing a new fare system and before anything is set in stone, they want to hear from the public.

There are two parts to implementing a new fare collection system: policy and technology.

It currently costs $2 for a two-hour unlimited bus pass, but STA is proposing a new fare-capping system.

Right now, a 30-day pass costs $60. For some families, though, that can be hard to come up with upfront.

Those who can afford the pass may only ride 10 or 15 times, meaning they overpaid.

Under the new capping system, you pay $2 at a time and once you have paid a total of $60, your rides are free for the rest of the month.

“It addresses transportation equity issues for those who may not be able to afford the upfront costs of a pass,” said Brandon Rapez-Betty, STA Communications Manager and Customer Service Director.

Mecia Kaczor Rider takes two buses to get to work and says she is a fan of the proposed capping system.

“You pay like a two-hour fare, but I just pay the $60 because I ride more than twice, so it’s efficient for me,” she said.

Feli Anderson says she pays $1 to ride the bus, but thinks the pass should be extended past the two hours.

“The time travel sometimes, like say if you’re going to the Valley or something, it takes time to get there, so a two-hour pass is not really holding up,” she said.

STA is also proposing contactless payments, but they are not eliminating cash. Riders would be able to tap or scan their phone and manage their smart card online.

There are also new discount programs included in the proposal. Most are 50% off programs intended for high school students 13 to 18 year old’s.

Also, current or former military veterans can get a stars and stripes pass.

STA also expanded the age range for their senior discount program, so people 60 an over are able to benefit.

STA says more than 700 people have filled out a survey regarding the new system. It will be up for another few weeks and can be filled out here. 

READ: Spokane Transit Authority’s electric buses hit the roads