BUFFALO, NY ( WKBW / nfta.com ) Niagara Frontier Director of Public Affairs, C. Douglas Hartmayer explained the new system taking effect September 1st for users of the Metro system with Bridget Blythe and Mike Randall on Channel 7's "Good Morning WNY."
The NFTA is calling this "Metro Made Easy" with a "One Zone" - "One Fare" - "One System" structure.
Metro covers Erie and Niagara Counties, all together, in one big seamless system. Metro used to divide the service area up into four zones, but as of September 1 there are no more boundaries, no confusion about paying before you board or when you leave. The system is easier to understand, and even easier to use.
You can ride from one end of a route to the other for $1.75. No zone charges will add up as you travel from Buffalo to Tonawanda to Niagara Falls. Pay once and sit back.
There are no transfer charges, either. Another boarding fare will apply. So, if your trip requires connection to another bus, a Monthly Pass or a Day Pass is your best bet.
No zones and one fare mean Metro no longer needs to offer 12 kinds of passes. Two is plenty. Ride all month for just $64 (Metro Monthly Pass) or all day for just $4 (Metro Day Pass.)
Reduced fares still apply for children (five to 11 years old), senior citizens (65 and older), disabled and Medicare recipients. Children four years and under ride free with a fare-paying adult (limited to three children per fare-paying adult.)
Metro begins altering routes October 31. The goal is getting routes to run at set intervals. Every 15 minutes in certain areas, for example. Or every 30 minutes on weekends. Buses will run more frequently over the most popular parts of the route, and less frequently over the least popular parts. In many cases, this means shorter times between buses the closer you are to downtown Buffalo or Niagara Falls. Metro Rail's schedule will see an increase in Sunday service.
Changing all of Metro’s routes will take some time. It is more of a process than an event. The process has begun. Making the system more efficient, more economical and ultimately better for everyone is now underway.
Free bus-to-rail Proof-of-Payment tickets are available from bus operators and are valid for continuing your trip on Metro Rail or #8 Main buses only. A One-way Metro Rail ticket (not a Two-way ticket) is valid for continuing your trip on a connecting Metro bus.
Tokens will not be sold after September 1, 2010. Tokens will continue to be accepted as fare payment through August 2013.
Credit and debit cards will not be accepted at Metro ticket vending machines as of September 1.
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Boarding Fare $1.75 per boarding
Reduced* Boarding Fare $.75 per boarding
Elimination of fare zones and zone charges
Elimination of bus-to-bus transfers
Boarding fare or proof-of-payment required to board all buses and trains
Bus to rail/rail to bus connections continued at no charge but require proof of payment
Token sales are discontinued
Tokens will be accepted through August 2013
Paratransit fares are twice boarding fares.
Paratransit eligible riders will travel free on all Metro fixed route service.
Systemwide Day Pass
Full Fare $4
Reduced* Fare $2
Systemwide Monthly Pass
Full Fare $64
Reduced* Fare $32
* Child (5-11 yrs), Senior Citizen, Disabled, and Medicare with proper identification
Note: 30-Day and Weekend Passes are discontinued.
Systemwide PAL Pass
10 Trips $29
20 Trips $58