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Metro offering free rides on weekends this summer

Rides on Metro and Access paratransit are free this weekend. And they'll be free every weekend until Sept. 4. Metro's senior vice president of external affairs says it's to highlight service improvements introduced in May.

Brandy Jones says in March, Metro eliminated fares for a weekend, and saw overall ridership rise. “These numbers have been increasing slowly, if you will, in the beginning. But then once we saw the gas prices start surging, I mean, wow!” she says. “We saw a 20% increase over the previous month. And since then it’s been growing greatly on all the routes where we made those improvements.”

Jones says the service improvements are part of Reinventing Metro, a voter-approved tax levy in 2020 to provide a new source of revenue for transit.

“We think this is a great opportunity to not only thank our community for their support by giving them some relief from these exorbitant gas prices, but also an opportunity for them to get on board and check out what they’re investing in,” she says. “And hopefully, we’ll see a return in ridership.”

Jones says Metro has added 24-hour service on seven of the busiest routes, more weekend service, and increased frequency on some lines. She says there are new vehicles in service, with free wi-fi, and charging ports on board.

The free rides are for Saturdays and Sundays only.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.