Free Metro Mobility rides for health care workers to end March 1

Citing a growing demand for the service, the Metropolitan Council will no longer offer Metro Mobility rides free of charge for essential health care workers.

The agency, which has offered the free rides to essential health care workers since April, said Monday the change to start charging fares to the workers beginning March 1 signals a return to more normal operations. The service typically offers transportation service to certified riders with disabilities.

“The pandemic turned transit service on its head,” Nick Thompson, director of Metropolitan Transportation Services, said in a statement. “We had to adapt and reinvent the service to better meet the needs of people at the time.”

Thompson said providing health care workers with free door-to-door service as regular ridership declined helped the agency preserve jobs and support the economy. But free rides were always considered temporary.

“Metro Mobility ridership has returned to about half of what it was before COVID-19,” he said. “With health care workers getting vaccinated and demand for Metro Mobility growing, it’s a good time to begin the transition to Metro Mobility’s core business and ensure there is capacity on our vehicles for paying customers.”

Fares for health care workers will match what Metro Mobility customers pay – $3.50 off peak and $4.50 for peak, plus a .75 cent surcharge if the trip is over 15 miles. The number of customers on board a vehicle continues to be restricted to ensure adequate social distancing.


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