Bringing The World Home To You

© 2024 WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
919.445.9150 | 800.962.9862
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

GoTriangle fares resume for riders starting July 1

File photo of a GoTriangle bus.
Courtesy of GoTriangle
Submitted Image — FILE

GoTriangle, the regional transit agency for the Triangle, will resume collecting fares from bus riders on July 1.

The new fare collection system will be app-based, but cash options are available for those without a smartphone.

Like many transit operators, GoTriangle suspended fare collections at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Bus drivers could potentially get sick by handling cash or fare cards. Farebox revenue provides about $2 million of the agency's budget.

As the pandemic receded, the GoTriangle board voted last year to prepare for the return of paying passengers.

"We knew that at some point, post-pandemic, due to higher operating costs, as well as trying to attract new bus operators and the cost of the equipment and replacing the buses, it became apparent that it wasn't sustainable to continue to not collect fares," said Eric Curry, the agency's spokesman.

GoTriangle buses will remain fare-optional through July, with mandatory fare collection starting in August. Curry encourages everyone to get used to paying by downloading the Umo Mobility app, where riders can download a single ticket or multi-ride passes.

Fares are capped at $5 per day, $20 per week, and $80 per month. GoTriangle services are free for people over 65 and under 18.

The return of fares comes as GoTriangle received a funding boost for its proposed regional transit hub in Research Triangle Park. The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the agency a $25 million dollar grant for its Triangle Mobility Hub, which will be located at the intersection of Miami Boulevard and N.C. Highway 54.

"This is going to be close to Triangle Bikeway," Curry said. "We want to be able to have a facility where it's some point that we can also welcome bus rapid transit lines."

Additional funding is needed for the $58 million dollar project, which is scheduled to open in 2028.

Bradley George is WUNC's AM reporter. A North Carolina native, his public radio career has taken him to Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville and most recently WUSF in Tampa. While there, he reported on the COVID-19 pandemic and was part of the station's Murrow award winning coverage of the 2020 election. Along the way, he has reported for NPR, Marketplace, The Takeaway, and the BBC World Service. Bradley is a graduate of Guilford College, where he majored in Theatre and German.
More Stories