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Bus rides are free to boost numbers

September 14, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

The fare is free this week on County Commuter buses and paratransit vehicles.

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In conjunction with the free rides, the Washington County Commissioners have designated this week "Try Transit Week." The fareless rides began Monday and continue through Saturday.

The event is part of a nationwide program to encourage people to use public transportation. It is the first time the county has offered free rides for a week, Transportation Director Kevin Cerrone said.

The free rides are an effort to attract new riders and thank existing customers, Commissioner Bert L. Iseminger said at a ceremony Monday.

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"We want all of Washington County's citizens to become more aware of the service we have to offer," Cerrone said.

The Washington County Commissioners will reimburse the Transportation Department for the $3,000 to $4,000 it will lose in fare box fees, Cerrone said.

Iseminger said increased bus use by local residents would reduce traffic congestion and help the environment.

The bus system has 18 routes daily. The fleet consists of two 6-passenger Paratransit vans, two 12-passenger buses, three 18-passenger buses and nine 30-passenger vehicles. All vehicles are equipped with wheelchair lifts and other features to make the system accessible to the disabled.

Fixed-route service hours are Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m., and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Paratransit service is provided from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

For more information call 791-3047.

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