GTA announces free fare starting April 1

by Rachal Pinkerton
Staff Writer | March 24, 2020 10:03 PM

Other COVID-19 plans put into place

MOSES LAKE β€” Grant Transit Authority announced on Friday, March 20, that starting Wednesday, April 1, all GTA fixed-route and ACCESS service will be fare-free. The move came during a special meeting of the GTA board of directors on Friday in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

β€œIn an effort to minimize contact with drivers and promote social distancing, the board authorized a temporary suspension of fares that includes fixed-route, dial a ride, and ACCESS until further notice,” said Greg Wright, general manager for GTA.

GTA has also instituted other measures to protect its staff and passengers. Currently, passengers are not allowed to sit in the first three rows of seats on buses to ensure social distancing from the coach operator. Coach operators are spending an additional 15 minutes disinfecting buses at the end of their shift, as well as wiping down surfaces on the bus that are frequently touched. All coach operators are being provided with hand sanitizer, tissues, a supply of disinfectant wipes and disposable gloves.

In addition, all public access to the Ephrata Transit Center has been closed. Public seating at the Multimodal Transit Center in Moses Lake has been removed. Sanitizing and cleaning of the lobby of the Multimodal Transit Center has also been increased.

During the meeting, the GTA board also made plans for the possible scaling back of service due to COVID-19 and gave employees additional leave time if they need to take sick or quarantine leave due to the virus.

At this point, all GTA routes are running as normal. GTA will alert the public if there is a reduction of service or if a government agency orders the transit authority to shut down.

Questions regarding GTA and the emergency measures should be directed to the GTA office at 509-765-0898.

Rachal Pinkerton may be reached via email at rpinkerton@suntribunenews.com.