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Transit program temporarily suspends fares

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Earlier this month, the Alamo Area Council of Governments’ Alamo Regional Transit program suspended charging transportation fares through May for all residents who need to travel within the Alamo region’s 13-county service area, the council said in a news release.

Residents may take advantage of transit agency’s on-demand transportation service for any need, including trips to the doctor, work and grocery store.

Bandera County is part of the service area for the transit program, or ART.

Officials said the decision to suspend fares at this time is not only as a gesture of support for the community during difficult economic times but is an effort to keep AACOG drivers and clients safe.

ART Director Sean Scott said, “We’ve continued to provide our ‘essential trips’ ridership – clients that may have dialysis appointments or reoccurring doctor visits – however, we have experienced a steep drop in rides for school, work and other leisure activities.

“We want residents to know we’ve implemented best practices to keep both our riders and drivers safe. We encourage folks to use our service if they don’t feel comfortable driving their personal vehicles during this time.”

All drivers of the ART fleet are using facemasks, requiring riders to use protective covers over their mouths, limiting bus capacities to ensure riders are at least six feet apart and significantly increasing the frequency for sanitization of the buses.

Residents looking to schedule a ride with the ART program can do so by phone at 866-889-7433 or online at www.aacog.com/artrides.

Due to ART staff working remotely, callers are asked to leave a voicemail with callback information so a representative can return your call to schedule your trip.

Availability is subject to demand. Officials recommend that those scheduling rides do so as far in advance as possible.