MTA bus fare collection resumes Aug. 31

MTA buses have been free to ride since March 23 because of the coronavirus pandemic. That ends Monday, Aug. 31, when you'll have to pay to ride all MTA local and SBS buses.

While it may not be a change New Yorkers want, the MTA said it has lost $431 million in bus revenue since it stopped collecting fares. Riders boarded from the rear door to protect drivers from being infected.

"As front-door boarding resumes, the MTA is implementing other changes to increase separation between bus operators and riders in order to continue enhancing safety," the transit agency said in a statement. "The changes include blocking off the seat directly behind the bus operator, and moving the white line on the bus floor, which passengers are expected to stand behind, further away from the bus operator."

The touchless OMNI payment system has been installed on all MTA buses on Staten Island and Manhattan. 

"Front-door boarding is a crucial step as we continue to support the reopening of New York City by making sure our buses have more space to socially distance and our bus operators are fully protected," New York City Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg said. "Safety will always be our top priority. I’m grateful to our bus team for working closely with our labor partners to find a safe solution that protects operators and employees."

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