Fort Smith City Leaders Approve Cheaper Transit Bus Fare For Students

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FORT SMITH (KFSM)-On Tuesday (Nov. 15) night, Fort Smith city directors passed an ordinance that would allow University of Arkansas Fort Smith students to ride city transit buses for only 75 cents per ride.

"This has been kind of a neat thing for us," City of Fort Smith transit director Ken Savage said. "We've been working with the Fort Smith Bus Coalition and their effort is to try to promote public transportation and certainly with the University and the students there."

For students without cars, this is a much needed change. Thalita Dasilva is a student from Brazil and said she didn't have a car when she first started college.

"It was very hard because I had to depend on other people to take me to school," Dasilva said. "If I knew before about a bus system, it would have been a lot easier. I wouldn't have to reply on people's rides."

For students who want to take advantage of riding the transit buses, it's as easy as showing your students I.D. to the bus driver and dropping your 75 cents into the fare box.

"I think it's a very good thing because parking spots at UA-Fort Smith are pretty hard right now," Dasilva said. "It's very full and you have to pay the $60 or $120 to park your car, so I think the bus is a really good thing."

Dasilva said she's happy to see a similar program here that was used in her home country of Brazil.

"In Brazil, we have this same system," Dasilva said. "If you are a student, you apply to have a card and you pay nothing to ride the bus, not only to go to school, but to go to the mall or wherever you want to. I thought it was a very great thing because it's coming to a small community and even though it's a small community, we have a lot of students from all over the place."

Savage said he is working with the school in hopes to eventually offer free transit bus rides for students.

For a list and map of bus routes, visit the transit's website.