METRO announces free fares countywide for the first two weeks of the fall schedule.
Santa Cruz METRO is making temporary route modifications on existing routes to accommodate the shortage of bus operators being experienced by METRO and around the nation, and to improve service reliability (minimize inconvenient cancellations for riders). Service will be maintained on all corridors and most UCSC school term service will return. In addition, METRO will offer free fares from September 15th to September 29th countywide including Highway 17 and ParaCruz service. Service to the County Fair will be free during this time, but only the 79F will offer free service to the fairgrounds on September 14th.
Temporary changes include the following:
- Route 4 will operate only between Santa Cruz METRO Center and METRO Admin Offices on Vernon Street, serving the River Street corridor and Harvey West area in both directions. The Emeline Complex and Grant Street segment of Route 4 will be served hourly by Route 35 in both directions. Both segments will operate during the same hours of service as the current Route 4. Travel times will be consistent, and in many cases shorter, throughout the day. Afternoon trips from the Emeline Complex to METRO Center, for example, will take 15 minutes compared to 36 minutes today.
- Route 35 will operate as Route 35E when serving the Emeline Complex. Route 35E trips between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. will end at Big Basin Way and Highway 9 in Boulder Creek and will not serve Country Club during these hours.
- Route 22 will be temporarily suspended. Route 20 will provide service from UCSC and Metro Center to the Coastal Science Campus and the Seymour Center in both directions on every trip.
- Clockwise direction trips on the Watsonville Circulator have been temporarily suspended. Alternate service is available in the counter-clockwise direction and on Routes 71, 72 and 75.
Minor schedule changes will also be made on Routes 18, 20, 35, 40, 42, 72, 72W, 75, 79 and the Watsonville Circulator to improve service reliability, as well as Route 35 “School Term” trips to match changes in bell times.