The Greensboro Transit Agency (GTA) has announced expanded Sunday bus service will begin on Sunday, July 4.
Starting July 4, the Sunday bus service will mirror the current Saturday service, which means expanding from the current Sunday service of seven combined routes to 17 individual routes. Buses will operate with hourly frequency beginning at 6 a.m. and ending at 10 p.m. The current Sunday bus service ends at 6 p.m.
Along with expanding the GTA fixed route service, GTA will also expand the Access GSO (formerly SCAT) citywide paratransit service to 10 p.m. According to a recent report to the City Council, Greensboro is the only city in the state that offers citywide paratransit service. Federal regulations require that paratransit service be provided within three-fourths of a mile of fixed route service. Every other city in the state with bus service provides paratransit service only within the federally mandated area.
GTA Marketing and Communications Specialist Kevin Elwood said in a press release, “The timing couldn’t be better to offer this service expansion for the transit riders of Greensboro. With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the community and ready access to preventative vaccines, riders are safely returning to lives put on hold in 2020. People are once again visiting family, shopping, attending theaters and games, visiting houses of worship and much, much more. No longer will passengers have to plan Sunday events and travels with a 6 p.m. curfew.”
Riders on GTA and Access GSO are still required to wear masks and social distance when possible.
Expanding service also means increased costs. According to GTA the total cost of the expanded Sunday service is $2.7 million. However, $2.2 million will be covered with federal dollars and $500,000 with city funds.
The fare for GTA and Access GSO is $1.50. The cost to the city per ride on GTA is $4.13 and the cost per ride for Access GSO is $31.
GTA had recommended raising the fare for Access GSO to $3 on Jan. 1, 2022, but the City Council appeared in agreement to modify that to raising the fare incrementally by 50 cents per year.