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The Foothill Transit executive board voted Friday to cut the cost of all bus passes by half for three months starting July 2021.

The discount will lower the prices of day passes to $3 and 31-day passes for local travel, the Silver Streak, Express to $30, $55 and $90 respectively. Passes for students, seniors and people with disabilities will also have their pass prices decreased by half.

All customers with a TAP card will be eligible to participate in the half-price fare program. Additionally, Foothill Transit will make 1,000 TAP cards available to customers at no charge so they can take advantage of the program.

This is the first time Foothill Transit will decrease fares outside of discounts for students, seniors and the disabled.

In conjunction with the further relaxing of the County's public health order due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foothill Transit staff and board are beginning to lay the foundation for riders to return back to their buses, albeit cautiously, said Felicia Friesema, director of marketing and communications.

"This will position us to be a part of people’s decisions as they start to get back to work again," Friesema said.

Foothill Transit is one of many transit agencies working to figure out how to get it's ridership back, especially with so many changes that have happened since the start of the pandemic. Foothill Transit weekday ridership is more than 17,000 currently, which is roughly 44 percent of weekly ridership prior to the pandemic. Annual fare revenues pre-pandemic totaled more than $16 million; fare revenues total $2.19 million in the first three quarters of the 2021 fiscal year.

Foothill Transit will reduce fares for all its buses passes for three months starting July 2021. Image: Foothill Transit
Foothill Transit will reduce fares for all its buses passes for three months starting July. To purchase a discounted pass, riders will need to purchase one using a TAP card. Foothill Transit will also make 1,000 TAP cards available to customers at no charge so they can take advantage of the program. Image: Foothill Transit

Foothill Transit staff are taking a measured approach to figure out how commute patterns have changed long term, especially with automobile traffic returning to previous congestion levels and the increase in gas prices, Friesema said. For example, back in January, Foothill Transit reduced its commuter service by 35 percent due to low demand and will keep the current levels for now, but staff are looking to get feedback from large employers to gauge the need for increasing service levels.

"We want to be responsive to what the community actually needs as opposed to what we think it needs," Friesema said.

Foothill Transit staff will be promoting the fare discount on digital platforms, on-board messaging and outreach to employee transportation coordinators at key businesses along commuter routes.

Staff are not considering extending the pass price cut past the 3 month period. If the pass price cuts were to be extended, it would have to return to Foothill Transit's executive board for approval.

SBLA San Gabriel Valley coverage, including this article and SGV Connect, is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

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