Metro, the Portland region’s bus system, will resume charging fares Thursday and hike the price to $2 a ride.

The system had stopped charging fares – $1.50 at the time – in March due to the coronavirus pandemic and also required passengers to board via the rear. Front-door boarding also will resume Thursday.

In addition, Metro will offer customers a new payment system called DiriGo Touch Pass that will allow customers to pay via an app on their smartphone or use a reloadable fare card.

The higher price and the new payment system had both been in the works at the time that Metro decided to suspend fares on March 20, said Denise Beck, spokeswoman for Metro. In April, Metro also cut back on the number of routes that it ran, but restored its full route system in August.

Beck said passengers who pay in cash will be required to have the exact fare and drivers will not make change.

The DiriGo Touch Pass system uses an app call TouchPass Transit Mobile App that is available online. Once an account is set up, users scan a QR code from their phone when they board the bus to have the cost deducted from their balances.

The system can also use reloadable cards that are available at Metro’s Elm Street “pulse” location, Metro offices on Valley Street, the South Portland City Hall tax office or the Saco Transportation Center. Users can go online to add money to the cards, which are scanned when a rider boards a bus.


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