This article was originally shared by The West Side Index & Gustine Press-Standard.
The Bus, Merced County’s public transportation service, has launched a pilot microtransit service in the communities on the west side of Merced County.
That service, called The Micro Bus, is a shared, on-demand, public transit system that provides passenger transportation within the communities of Los Banos, Dos Palos, Gustine, and Santa Nella. Passengers in these areas can select from a network of “virtual stops” in their community for pick-up and drop-off, along with their preferred departure time.
Passengers can see all of the virtual stop locations and book a ride on The Micro Bus by downloading the app on their smart phone for free, going online at www.mercedthebus.com/themicrobus, or calling The Bus’ customer service line at 209–725–3813. Reservations are required. Fares are $1.50 per ride and can be paid when booking a ride on the app, or with cash on the bus.
Seniors, veterans and ADA-eligible passengers pay a discounted rate of 75 cents and may be eligible for curb-to-curb service. All fares include free transfers to the Los Banos (LB) fixed-route for those passengers looking to travel between the West Side communities or to Merced.
“The Micro Bus is an exciting step forward in expanding transportation access to the residents of Merced County,” said Stacie Guzman, executive director. “The service uses modern-day technology to respond to the demands of how people want to use transit in the 21st Century.”
The Micro Bus will operate Monday to Friday from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Passengers needing to transport their bicycle on The Micro Bus should select that option in the app at time of reservation or by alerting the customer service representative with they call to book a ride. All vehicles used by The Micro Bus are wheelchair accessible.
The Bus continues to encourage passengers to wash their hands often, cover all coughs and sneezes, stay home when sick and avoid direct contact with sick individuals.