At the November 5 board meeting of the North Central Regional Transit District (NCRTD), a resolution was approved to make the RTD Blue Bus 305 Taos Express and the 255 Mountain Trail fare-free. These fares had been priced previously at between $2 and $5 each way.
The services had been operating on a fare-free basis since the early days of the pandemic to prevent fare box transmission and keep operators and passengers safe.
At the same time, the Board approved reinstating fares on RTD Demand Request services in Taos and the Española areas, which have also been operating fare-free during the pandemic. Demand fares resumed on Monday, November 29.
The 255 Mountain Trail provides service from downtown Santa Fe up Hyde Park Road to trailheads in the Santa Fe National Forest and Hyde State Park, concluding at Ski Santa Fe where riders can be dropped off steps from the ticket window and lifts. Previously, the route was $5 each way in the winter season, which corresponds with the open and close dates of Ski Santa Fe. During non-winter operation, the cost was $5 to ride up, and free to ride down.
RTD Demand Request service operates within a 15-mile radius of the Española Transit Center, extending into northern Santa Fe County, and within two miles of the 340 RTD Chile Line Red route in the Town of Taos. It allows area residents to schedule a curb-to-curb ride within the designated area for $1 each way. The service operates Monday through Friday from 6 am to 6 pm and must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance.
Face masks continue to be required to board buses, per federal law.
The NCRTD provides bus transit to a service area that encompasses over 10,000 square miles of north central New Mexico, including the counties of Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Santa Fe, and Taos, the eight northern Pueblos as well as the Jicarilla Apache Nation.