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NORCROSS: Paratransit passengers stuck with higher fares, no free transfers

10:46 PM, Oct 26, 2011   |    comments
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Gwinnett Transit Express Bus

NORCROSS, Ga. -- Ordinarily, taking rapid transit with a Breeze Card across Metro Atlanta is a "breeze" for most people.

But that's not quite the case for Gwinnett Paratransit passengers wanting to transfer to MARTA.

Gwinnett Paratransit riders are not able to transfer to MARTA for free, and they end up paying double fares.

Mildred Mallory, 91, is left going from her Norcross home to Alpharetta using Gwinnett Paratransit and MARTA and paying $7.30. If she were a passenger on Gwinnett Transit's regular bus lines and transferring to MARTA for the same trip, she'd only pay $2 - the normal cost of a ride on Gwinnett Transit.

Gwinnett Transit officials said the high cost of running the special Paratransit service keeps those fares high. For passengers like Mallory, that can create a financial hardship.

"I'm on a fixed income and I don't have that much money," she said.

For now, officials said the situation would not change, but the issue now promises to be at the top of the agenda when the area transportation groups get together to establish a regional fare policy that will make the free transfers consistent for everyone.

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