DART changes on the wayPublished 1:07pm Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Area public transit organizations are changing the way they provide reduced fares.
Public transit providers in Berrien, Cass and VanBuren counties, including Niles Dial-A-Ride, have banded together to provide the Regional Reduced Fare Card (RRFC) program.
In the past, Niles Dial-A-Ride, like many other bus services, had its own reduced fare card program. This will come to an end Feb. 1 when the organization will begin only accepting RRFCs.
The collaboration between area agencies should make for more efficiency and convenience for both riders and drivers, according to Evan Smith, operations manager for Niles Dial-A-Ride.
“Before people had to hang on to four or five different cards,” Smith said. “We put this together so that people who qualify can have one card and make it a little easier for them.”
Riders who hold the card can also use it as proof they qualify for reduced rates at transit agencies across the country, Smith said.
Riders who currently hold a reduced fare card through Dial-A-Ride will need to apply for an RRFC before Feb. 1.
People who may qualify for reduced fares include people with disabilities and seniors.
More information about the program and an application for a RRFC can be found at www.nilesdialaride.org. Customers can also call Dial-A-Ride at (269) 684-5150.
Persons with disabilities
Three ways to show eligibility:
• Proof of Social Security disability payments from the federal government
• Have a certified Human Service professional or physician fill out the Agency Certification section on the application
Individuals must be 60 years old or older to qualify. There are two ways to show eligibility:
• Medicare card
• A government-issued picture identification card that verifies age