10/18/17 — Goldsboro-Wayne Transportation Authority to offer free rides to veterans

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Goldsboro-Wayne Transportation Authority to offer free rides to veterans

By Rochelle Moore
Published in News on October 18, 2017 5:50 AM


Brian Griffin, who served in the Marine Corps, talks with driver Tonda Gardner aboard a GWTA bus Tuesday.

The Goldsboro-Wayne Transportation Authority plans to offer no-cost bus rides to veterans and active-duty military personnel in early November.

Free rides will be provided on GWTA buses starting Nov. 6 and continuing through Veterans Day -- Nov. 11. This is the second year GWTA has provided bus rides at no cost to veterans and members of the military in an effort to recognize their service and sacrifice.

"It's the second year that we've done it," said Fred Fontana, GWTA director. "Last year, we had over 300 trips provided to vets. It was well-received and appreciated.

"We're just looking at it as a way to show our appreciation to the vets and active military and all they do for us."

The 300 trips provided in 2016 would have typically led to about $300 in revenue for GWTA, based on the $1 per ticket, per ride fee. Tickets are 50 cents for the disabled and people age 60 and older.

Fontana said the revenue can't compare to the sacrifices made by members of the military, past and present.

"That's a small price to do what we do," Fontana said.

Bus driver Diamond Dos Santos said the annual GWTA Veterans Ride Free week was popular a year ago.

"They were very happy about it that they could ride for those amount of days," Dos Santos said.

Even people who normally don't ride the bus decided to park their vehicles and ride bus routes, just because the opportunity was available, he said.

"Some of them didn't ride the bus before," Dos Santos said.

The Veterans Ride Free week requires veterans and active-duty military to provide a military identification or a DD-214 discharge form, with a photo identification, prior to boarding.

GWTA buses operate from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with purple and blue routes operating until 7:30 p.m. All buses operate from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.