DTA Buses Collecting Fares Again in October, Plexiglass Barriers Added

Service has been free since March, DTA officials said, because drivers lacked the protection needed to collect fares at the front door. 

DULUTH, Minn.- Starting October 1st, it’ll now cost you to ride DTA buses again. Fare collection is resuming as new plexiglass barriers have been installed to protect drivers.

Service has been free since March, DTA officials said, because drivers lacked the protection needed to collect fares at the front door.

“We started looking for a way to go back to collecting fares with a way to protect our drivers,” Duluth Transit Authority General Manager Phil Pumphrey said.

The new plexiglass barriers move, allowing the driver to shield themselves as people board and put up a barrier between sitting passengers while driving.

“It’s important to have for their peace of mind because the drivers come in they’re together and they talk when they’re sometimes at different locations and it helps prevent the exposure overall in the general public,” said Pumphrey.

Without revenue from fares, the GM said, the DTA would lose access to state and federal funds for new vehicles, employee wages, system improvements, and other needs.

Also new this season, service will resume on the “Du-Looper” route on September 28th. The free route runs every 15 minutes through the length of downtown.

The re-activating of the “Du-Looper” is thanks to over a dozen new bus drivers who couldn’t get licensed during the pandemic.

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