The Alexandria Transit Company, also known as DASH, will resume front-door boarding and regular fare collection on all buses beginning Monday, March 15.
DASH suspended fare collection and use of the front doors to board and disembark buses starting in March 2020 to reduce crowding and dwell time at the farebox for the safety of both operators and passengers. Additional policies were implemented to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, including installation of permanent barriers around bus operator seats, the addition of hand sanitizer dispensers onboard buses and by encouraging touchless electronic fare payment.
“This policy change brings us closer to resuming a ‘new normal’ of transit service while continuing to prioritize the safety of our employees, riders and community,” said Josh Baker, DASH CEO/General Manager.
As DASH resumes fare collection at a cost per trip of $2, passengers are encouraged to take advantage of no-contact electronic payment options such as the DASH Bus app and the SmarTrip app or card. Touchless electronic fare payment eliminates contact at fareboxes and reduces the risk of spreading COVID-19.
The DASHbus app allows passengers to purchase their bus fare from their phone with a credit/debit card, PayPal account or SmartBenefits account. A single trip fare is available on the app instantly after purchase. Passengers can also purchase multi-trip tickets, such as a 31-Day Flex Pass and enjoy unlimited trips for 31 days for just $45. Multi-trip tickets can take up to four hours to become available for use after purchase. The app is available from Google Play for Android device users or the Apple Store for Apple device users. To learn more about the DASH Bus app, visit: dashbus.com/ride-dash/mobileapp.
Passengers with Apple devices can also add SmarTrip passes to their Apple Wallet and then pay using their iPhone or Apple Watch. Simply hold the mobile device over the SmarTrip target, just as you would a SmarTrip card. To learn more about this process, visit wmata.com/fares/MobilePay. Also, SmartBenefits users can now apply a designated amount of their benefits toward DASH trips via their SmarTrip card.
DASH will also resume discounted and fare-free programs for students and seniors. For more information about DASH fares, visit: dashbus.com/ride-dash/fares.
All passengers are required to continue wearing a face mask that covers both the nose and mouth while awaiting, boarding, traveling on, or disembarking any DASH bus in accordance with federal regulations. Passengers without a mask will not be permitted on any DASH bus. For more information about this policy, visit: dashbus.com/maskmandate.
The return of front-door boarding and fare collection is consistent with recovery efforts by major transit agencies across the country and regional partners including WMATA, Fairfax Connector and Arlington Transit.