Blacksburg residents can now ride public buses free of charge

Fares were initially lifted at the start of the coronavirus pandemic


BLACKSBURG, Va. – Those in Blacksburg will now be able to ride buses in public transit without any cost to them.

This comes after the Blacksburg Town Council approved a fare-free bus network in an animous vote, 7-0, Tuesday night.

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Fares were initially lifted at the start of the coronavirus pandemic to protect the health of passengers and operators and implement safety measures to prevent the spread.

Now, the Blackburg public bus transit will operate fare-free permanently. According to Blacksburg’s Director of Transit Brian Booth, the likely benefits from this move would include:

  • Faster boarding process since passengers will no longer need to be digging in their pockets for cash or change
  • More efficient staff time due to the fact staff will no longer have to process fairs
  • Elimination of fare disputes and better customer services
  • Increased ridership

This isn’t a first in the Commonwealth, with Alexandria moving to drop fares in 2021. The shift has been met with much success, as illustrated by a significant increase in ridership, Booth said. Washington, D.C., is also taking steps to offer free bus fares. If approved, it would become the largest city in the U.S. to do so.

About the Author

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.

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