Magic Bus: CTS fares disappear for UVA students, staff, and faculty
The City seems to have learned this lesson from offering a free trolley route ( began as the "HooBus"), which faced some opposition when it was proposed, but has since become the most traveled CTS City route, shuttling nearly 1,080 riders a day from the University to the Downtown Mall–to borrow from a local car dealership, "Everybody rides!"
Starting April 2, UVA students, staff, and faculty will be able to ride free on any CTS route with a UVA photo ID. The change comes after a year of negotiations between the Charlottesville Transit Service and the University of Virginia, during which a pilot program resulted in a sharp increase in CTS rider-ship. The program will run until June 2008, and as the CTS is quick to remind us, the fare-free program does not apply to the Football Shuttle service or to CTS LINK service.
So could this be a prelude to a City-wide free transit system for everyone? According to City spokesperson Ric Barrick, thats not out of the question.
"Yes, we're looking at the feasibility of becoming a fare free system," says Barrick, "but currently its just in the planning stages. We would need to make up for the $30,000 a month fare revenue that is generated, but City Council has expressed an interest in the possibility."
Given the fact that Charlottesville is awash in cash, giving up $360,000 a year to get people out of their cars, and to make getting around Charlottesville free, might not seem like much of a sacrifice to some.