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DDOT, SMART may partner for easier bus transfers between city and suburbs

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Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

A potential partnership between the DDOT and SMART bus systems still needs approval from city council and the SMART board of directors, but it could make traveling between the city and suburbs a lot easier.

The new plan intends on streamlining a sometimes confusing system right now; instead of over 25 choices, riders will have six flexible options for passes. The plan also introduces a mobile fare app and more retail locations, including self-serve machines, for purchasing passes.

According to a release from the city, here are the options that would be available:

  • A 4-hour regional ride pass on any route with unlimited transfers between DDOT and SMART for $2, with a reduced fare price of .50 cents for qualified riders.
  • A 24-hour regional pass with unlimited transfers between DDOT and SMART for $5, with a reduced price of $2.
  • A 7-day DDOT-only pass for $17, with a reduced price of $8.
  • A 7-day regional pass for $22, with a reduced price of $10.
  • A 31-day DDOT-only pass for $50, with a reduced price of $17.
  • A new 31-day regional pass, good for unlimited rides on both DDOT and SMART, for $70, with a reduced price of $29. This would replace the existing Regional Pass and Regional Plus Pass.

SMART riders would still use the current set of SMART options.

This would be a good step forward for the bus systems, considering a regional transit plan will not be on the ballot for voters this year. Both DDOT and SMART have made improvements to their own systems over the past few years. DDOT has added many 24-hour routes and improved reliability, while SMART has introduced FAST routes—including one to the airport.

Both systems will hold community meetings and feedback sessions before final approval. The improvements could take effect in December.