RFTA carding seniors to get their free rides | PostIndependent.com

RFTA carding seniors to get their free rides

Ryan Summerlin
In this file photo, a Roaring Fork Transportation Authority bus picks up passengers at the park-and-ride in Basalt. RFTA will start requiring seniors to show ID before being able to ride the bus for free.
Aspen Times file photo |

No free bus rides until you’ve put in the years.

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority is cracking down on requiring seniors 65 and older to prove their age with photo IDs to get a free ride.

People older than 65 have long been able to ride buses for free on RFTA’s regional routes, said Kent Blackmer, RFTA’s co-director of operations. He believes that policy started with RFTA’s inception in 1983.

“Over the past couple of years, we have noticed that some riders have been boarding our fare buses without saying a word to the driver,” Blackmer wrote to the Post Independent. “When questioned, some of these riders became irritated and annoyed about being asked if they might be a senior.

“We also had riders that were claiming to be seniors but when asked to provide proof of their age were unwilling to produce an ID … or riders that were upset about being asked to show ID.”

So RFTA decided it was time to make its requirements more strict and take the onus off the drivers.

“To that end, we began putting stickers on our buses that indicated that seniors and RFTA employees ride free, but only with ID,” Blackmer said.

RFTA has been trying to get the word out through its website, handouts and public service announcements.

“The guidance we have given to our drivers is to notify riders claiming to be seniors that we will need to see ID. In the near future that request will transform into a requirement,” said Blackmer.

You can get a RFTA senior ID pass for free, but you’ll have to go to Aspen, either to the Rubey Park Transit Center or RFTA’s Aspen Maintenance Facility. Bring a government-issued photo ID that shows your birthdate to get a free senior pass.

Or seniors can always use a state-issued photo ID to get on the bus instead of the RFTA pass. Medicare photo IDs will also be accepted.

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