Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) is slated to resume regular bus service throughout the county Sunday, June 13. WTA will also begin collecting fares July 1 after it suspended fare collection during spring 2020 to keep riders six feet apart from bus drivers.
WTA announced it will ease back into its normal transportation operations due to the federal mask mandate on public transportation, and many bus drivers are now vaccinated as more riders are getting vaccinated.
The transportation authority is now able to resume fare collections, which vary in cost for type of pass and are offered at a discount to veterans, people with disabilities, students and youth.
At the beginning of the pandemic, WTA reduced its bus service by 30 percent to lower ridership as more people stayed home and WTA faced staff uncertainty. WTA says more people are requesting normal transportation and it expects demand to continue to go up throughout summer and fall. This comes as WTA has more confidence to predict its staff levels.
WTA provides fixed route, paratransit, rural dial-a-ride, and vanpool service in Whatcom County.
WTA is also starting an on-demand Lynden van service June 13. For $1 per ride, anyone can use the “Lynden Hop” to pick them up and take them wherever they need in Lynden. People who want to use the van can download the “WTA Ride” app, create an account, and then can book a ride. Lynden riders can also book a ride by calling WTA at 360/676-7433 or online at ridewta.com/ride.
WTA is also starting a new Youth Ride Free program for those 17 and younger or those in high school can pick up a free No TouchPass Card at the Bellingham station at 205 E Magnolia or a student can request a card if they email firstname.lastname@example.org using their school email.
For services starting June 13, visit ridewta.com/changes. A summary of changes to fares and the new Youth Ride Free program can be found at ridewta.com/fares. Route and schedule information can be found by calling 360/676-7433 or visiting ridewta.com.