Community Transit fares return to pre-pandemic rates in January

The world has been living with the pandemic and its effects for two years, and in many ways, they seem the longest two years in history. Things are returning to a regular rhythm, though. For Community Transit, that means some of the COVID-19 changes are here to stay, but reduced fare rates will be ending.
United Community Action Partnership (UCAP) Transportation Director Nick Leske said the additional funding offered to transit systems during the pandemic is expiring at the end of year. So, a return to normal fare prices is necessary.
“All of our previous fare collection procedures and costs are back beginning January 1,” he said.
That means all types of bus passes are back to their normal cost. “During the pandemic, we only sold monthly ride passes, and we sold them for a suggested fee of $40,” Leske said.
The return of full fare rates means people can once again purchase passes based on their travel needs. Those who travel within a single town can purchase a monthly ride pass for $70. For people who need to travel between towns, a monthly pass is $80.
The convenience of being able to purchase a variety of passes directly from bus drivers is also coming back.
“Our $25 ride cards and tokens were not sold during the pandemic so we could reduce the number of hand-to- hand exchanges between passengers and drivers,” Leske said, “but those options will be available on buses again for those who don’t want to purchase a monthly pass.”
Unfortunately, the purchase of monthly ride passes will, once again, need to be done through a UCAP office, as it was before the pandemic.
“We want to keep things as clean and simple for everyone on board the buses,” he said.
Rides on Community Transit route bus rides are $1 per person. Routes run in Marshall, Pipestone and Redwood Falls. The base fare is $2 for an in-town, dial-a-ride bus when scheduled at least the day before. When a ride is scheduled on the day of transportation, the base rate is $2.50. Fare increases in $1 increments based on distance traveled from point to point. Complete details on fares are available at
After more than a year of free or reduced rate transportation, it may be difficult for some people to begin budgeting for transportation again, but Leske said collecting fares is an important part of keeping buses on the road.
“In a normal year, our contract with the Minnesota Department of Transportation only covers part of our operations. Passenger fares help cover the rest. We couldn’t exist long term without them.”

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