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The Free Ride Is Almost Over

South Coast bus system to resume charging fares Monday

The free ride is almost over, so to speak in Santa Barbara County.

This is the final weekend that Santa Barbara’s Metropolitan Transit District is going fare-free. Like many bus systems, for more than a year the MTD hasn’t been charging passenger due to the pandemic.

Starting on Monday, all passengers will once be required to pay with cash or a bus pass.

The fare remains the same as it was at pre-pandemic levels, which is $1.75 for a cash ride. Frequent riders are being urged to get bus passes which will save riders money, as well as offering a contactless form of payment.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.