The bus service around the District will go back to implementing its regular fare starting from October 1, as per the D.C. Council’s order, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced on Friday.
The base fare is $1 and can be paid by using a SmarTrip card, cash or coins with exact change.
Back in February, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that all D.C. Circulator rides would be free for the month as a part of her #FairShotFebruary campaign, stating that the Circulator being free would help with transportation equity.
Free fares later became indefinite, as Bowser set aside $3 million to fund free Circulator service.
“After positive feedback from District residents and increased ridership, the Mayor announced plans to continue free rides indefinitely,” according to a press release by the DDOT.
Today, by order of the DC Council, the fare on the @DCCirculator will be reinstated effective Tuesday, October 1, 2019. The base fare is $1 and Riders may pay using any current SmarTrip® card, or cash/coins with exact change.https://t.co/ZzkJJAgsyp pic.twitter.com/rQOxxG0s36
— DDOT DC (@DDOTDC) September 27, 2019
The Council afterwards objected to the zero-fare policy funding, prompting the reinstatement of the one-dollar fare policy on October 1, which marks the start of FY 2020.
“The D.C. Circulator is a fantastic option for residents and visitors to get around the District,” DDOT Director Jeff Marootian said, as per the release. “Our focus is to continue to provide safe and affordable service to activity centers in each of the District’s four quadrants,” he continued.
The D.C. Council’s decision was criticized by some D.C. residents, who expressed their opinions over Twitter.
It's really too bad that the council couldn't keep the free @DCCirculator rides going. It was such a cool and unique feature of the city that benefited residents and tourists alike.
— Michael (@singletary) September 30, 2019