The City Council has voted unanimously to provide free bus service to Dial-A-Ride patrons for three months to reward them for the transportation system's successful first year.
Mayor Roger McComas proposed free rides in October, November and December after last month's ridership hit an all-time high of 8,171. Financing for the bus system, which started rolling in July, 1984, comes from a special fund created by Proposition A, a 1980 county measure that approved a half-cent sales tax reserved for transportation needs.
Such funds will pay for the $3,000 to $3,600 expected cost of the three-month proposal, said Don Bader, transportation supervisor. Bus fare is usually 25 cents one way.
"It's the people's money. Why not let them take advantage of it?," McComas said in an interview Tuesday. He said the free service would thank supporters during the holiday season and "give back to some of those who have been paying their quarters."