Metropolitan Transit offering cheap transportation this summer

A ride from College Hill to Target in 12 minutes for only 75 cents. That is one of the many routes currently available on MET, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, the bus mass transit system in Waterloo and Cedar Falls.

MET has 12 bus routes that cover major destinations in the Cedar Valley. Riders can go from downtown Cedar Falls all the way to Crossroads Mall.

A normal bus fare for one ride is $1.50, but for students there is a large discount.

“Anyone with a valid student ID can ride for 75 cents. This is half of the regular fare. Transfers are free,” said Mark Little, General Manager of the Metro Transit Authority.

Riding the MET is not only inexpensive, but it also is good for the environment. According to the American Public Transportation Association, public transportation use in the United States saves 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually.

Although the public transportation in Cedar Falls consists of buses, it can be an alternative to cars and make anyone more independent.

After six straight years of increasing ridership for the MET, it decreased by 10 percent in past year.

“When gas prices are relatively low, bus ridership tends to decrease,” Little said. Ridership is expected to gain momentum again when gas prices rise.

Soon, MET buses will look more like Uber. “We are currently working on providing an ‘app’ to track our buses. A bus rider would be able to view where the buses are at in live time mode,” Little said.

This summer, MET plans to offer a promotional fare for students and children. From June through August, students will pay only 25 cents for a single bus fare.

“You have got to take advantage of the bus system so you can be independent. It is cheap and can take you almost everywhere in Cedar Falls. I bought a 16 oz. Pepsi for $2. You could ride eight days off of just that,” MET bus driver Andrew Thomas said.

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