A monthly bus pass under discussion by the Greene County transit board could make riding the bus easier for routine riders, according to the county transit system director.
If approved, the passes would cost riders $60 to $65 per month and could be available as early as April.
“We’re looking at it for the convenience of our riders,” said Ken Collier, the Greene CATS director. “…It’s a quicker boarding process instead of fumbling for change.”
The Greene CATS’ Program Committee has discussed the monthly pass option and is waiting on more information about costs and how to deter misuse of the passes, Collier said. The committee will make a recommendation to the board who could vote on it as early as February.
Riders who choose the monthly pass option would not get a discount on the fare.
“We felt like the pricing should be comparable to what it would take to ride our regular service,” Collier said. “We didn’t feel like we could lose a significant amount of income because of a discount.”
In addition to convenience, Collier said the passes would help reduce the amount of time employees spend counting bus tokens. Transit staff spend about 10 hours per week counting the tokens.
If the transit board approves the bus passes, the system would be modeled after the Roseview Transit bus pass program in Richmond, Ind., Collier said.
Roseview Transit has had a monthly pass program in place since the late 1960s or early 1970s, said Terri Quinter, the transit system manager. About 850 to 1,000 riders ride the bus system daily and 250 to 300 passes per month are sold, she said.
Monthly passes sell for $38 for a month, however seniors, the disabled or students can purchase one for $30, Quinter said.
Quinter said the transit system has had few problems related to misuse of the passes which vary in color each month. The monthly bus passes are numbered and if one is lost, it can be traced to its rightful owner. Riders must purchase their passes at the city clerk’s office and their name is printed on a receipt.
Any one that misuses a bus pass is banned from the transit system, she said.
Quinter said the system sells about between 250 to 300 passes per month and the only cost incurred is $500 for printing.