Bus fare collections resume Oct. 1 in Duluth

Duluth Transit Authority has been running without fares since March 18 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Duluth Transit Authority bus passes the bus stop in front of the downtown public library in April. (File / News Tribune)

After installing driver-protection barriers to its fleet of buses, the Duluth Transit Authority will resume standard passenger fare collection on Oct. 1.

The move follows a recent return to front-door boarding and other measures related to safe operations, the DTA said in a news release Tuesday.

“We were very pleased to procure and install these barriers across our fleet of buses,” DTA General Manager Phil Pumphrey said. “They will provide a layer of protection for our drivers, and give us the opportunity to collect revenue which helps keep our system running.”

Passengers will find the same fare structure and payment procedures that were in place before the current stretch of COVID-19-related free service began March 18.

“It is important to us that we not increase fares, and keep our service affordable and efficient,” Pumphrey said. “Without some revenue, the organization would lose access to important state and federal resources which support system improvements, new vehicles, employee wages, and other needs that we have throughout the year.”


Pumphrey said the DTA is in the process of training new drivers, which will allow for the resumption of service on the free downtown circulator, DuLooper, and a handful of other routes.

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