Monday, August 16, 2010

NFTA Metro Eliminates Fare Zones

The NFTA is really making a major change in bus fares starting September 1. It should be interesting comparing it to other metro areas.

You can ride from one end of a route to the other for $1.75. There will be no zone charges adding up as you go from one end to the other like from Buffalo to the Tonawandas and Niagara Falls.

They did eliminate transfers too so if you take a second bus you will have to pay $1.75 again. If your trip involves changing buses they recommend buying an all day pass for $4. A monthly pass is only $64 and is your best bet if you ride transit much.

They still offer reduced fares for kids, elderly and disabled as well as free transfers to and from Metro Rail.

When I first started riding the bus to Grand Island I got on in the city in zone 1. I got off in zone 8. Niagara Falls was zone 10. Confused fare collection was the rule on the 40 bus. It was a major inducement to get an All Zones pass. Needing exact change really tipped the balance. Later they simplified it to the current 4 zones. Grand Island was only zone 3 then.

This is really a brave new world for Metro. I hope they can maintain the fare structure. I always hated having to pay a city fare when I got on the bus and then a zone fare when I got off because I forgot to get off at the city line. I hope use of the suburban routes goes up a lot more so they can add more runs.

Taking the bus was usually a good experience for me, even in Winter. I really have to drive right now so it really is not an option. Things have a habit of changing though so it is good seeing what I consider good ideas being tried out.
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