Coronavirus: Greater Dayton RTA to offer free bus passes for those on unemployment

Greater Dayton RTA drivers and mechanics have voted to send a strike notice to the regional transit authority in coming days. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Greater Dayton RTA drivers and mechanics have voted to send a strike notice to the regional transit authority in coming days. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

The Greater Dayton RTA is offering free monthly bus passes to anyone receiving unemployment insurance benefits. The program comes through a partnership between RTA and the Montgomery County Workforce Development Department.

Anyone who is receiving unemployment benefits can qualify for a free monthly pass using Tapp Pay, the RTA’s mobile fare system, a release from Montgomery County officials said.

“We’ve seen the unemployment numbers since the pandemic shutdowns started in March, and we know a lot of people are struggling right now,” said Judy Dodge, Montgomery County Commission President. “Many people looking for work visit the Job Services area of our Job Center. It’s a natural partnership to connect our customers with free transportation through the RTA.”

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Anyone interested in the passes can contact Montgomery County’s Business Services at (937) 225-5627 or fill out the online form at https://bit.ly/FreeBusPass, and a staff member will follow-up to approve and load the pass on a smartphone. The pass will be accessible through the Transit app, available for Apple and Android devices, the release said. The passes will be available through Dec. 31, 2020.

“RTA is proud to partner with Montgomery County in this effort to ensure citizens have the mobility they need as they transition through these difficult times,” said Sharon Hairston, RTA Board of Trustees President. “Those who have suffered employment loss during the pandemic will be provided access to all RTA services to assist them in rebuilding their lives. This joint effort supports the missions of Montgomery County and RTA to provide opportunity and serve as a bridge for those members of our community in need.”