Front Door Boarding Will Resume and Face Coverings Will Still Be Required
Springfield, IL – The Sangamon Mass Transit District (SMTD) announced today that their offices at 928 S. 9th Street in Springfield will re-open next Monday, and SMTD will resume collecting fares Monday, March 15th.
SMTD’s office will be open to the public beginning Monday, January 25th, from 8:30am to Noon and from 1:00pm to 4:30pm. Traditional passes will be for sale again, and passengers wishing to renew benefit access passes must bring their current certificate from the Dept. on Aging and a picture ID. Those seeking senior citizen half-price passes must bring a photo ID with date of birth to SMTD.
SMTD has not collected fare since March 17th of 2020 due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local economy and workers. SMTD is opening the office next week in order to give the public plenty of time to renew or purchase passes.
“When the pandemic hit last year, we saw ridership plummet for several weeks,” said SMTD Managing Director Steve Schoeffel. “We reacted quickly to ramp up our bus and facilities cleaning, while reducing service hours. At that time, we also stopped collecting bus fare and required passengers to board at the rear doors in order to maintain space between our operators and our passengers.”
Since then, SMTD has installed polymer barriers in the driver compartments of all of their buses, and new fare collection technology is just around the corner. SMTD expects new fare options to be available later this year.
“We are awaiting government approval of some of the paperwork related to our purchase of new fare boxes,” Schoeffel said. “Once those are installed and we’ve had time to train our operators, other staff and the riding public, we will phase in new ways to pay fare and produce transfers. Those should include everything from cash to paying ‘touchless’ with a loadable card or mobile device.”
Fare remains the same as before the pandemic. Regular fare is $1.25, but 20-ride passes can be purchased for $20, and various discounts apply to senior citizens and children four and younger. Access Paratransit fare is $2.50, and 10-ride passes can be purchased for $25. Details on disabled pass requirements and all bus fare can be found at SMTD’s website: www.smtd.org.