The Stanislaus Regional Transit Authority Board unanimously approved a simplified fare structure for Modesto Area Express and Stanislaus Regional Transit (StaRT) services. The simplified fares will go into effect in January 2022. Until that time, rides on all MAX and StaRT services will be free for passengers.

The StanRTA Board of Directors approved the simplified fare structure to streamline the currently 40-plus different fare categories across MAX and StaRT. As part of the new fare structure, all persons 18 and younger will ride for free, fare reductions across major fare categories will be implemented, and a day pass for the general public will be the same cost as a current single ride on MAX – $2.00.

“I absolutely love this,” said Vito Chiesa, Stanislaus County Supervisor and StanRTA Board member. “This new fare structure is in line with the Board’s philosophy of making transit more equitable for the people of Stanislaus County. Making progress like this is exactly why I joined the StanRTA Board.”

This is a major step for the new Authority which formed last January from the consolidation of City of Modesto MAX and Stanislaus County StaRT services to create a new public transportation provider in to operate County-wide. Simplifying fares across the current multiple transit providers was a primary goal of the Authority. Both MAX and StaRT operate a slew of different services (fixed-route, Dial-A-Ride, paratransit, commuter, shuttle and Medivan programs), which led to a lengthy list of fare options and categories.

“We are implementing the fare consolidations as evidence of one of the benefits of forming the new Authority,” said Phil McGuire, StanRTA CEO. “More changes will be coming as the new Authority ramps up its effort to improve service for the public through adjustments made possible by a consolidated system.”

Additional projects the Authority is working on include a Comprehensive Operational Analysis to review all existing routes of the two former systems and creation of a new Authority brand. These initiatives will culminate in the launch of the consolidated system with a unified fleet and fare collection system in 2022