Silver Key Senior Services in the Pikes Peak area sent out a letter to the two thousand people who use the free Silver Key buses to get around. It says that service is going to change starting July 1st. 48 percent or roughly eight to nine hundred of the riders who use the service every year will have to pay for it.
It'll be a tiered system based on a financial assessment. The fare can range from $3.75 per ride or $1.75 per ride. Silver Key's Lorri Orwig tells me, "It's hard to do this. For 42 years, Silver Key has not charged for transportation. It's time now to do it. We're getting bigger and serving more and more people who need the service." Not everyone has to pay on either tier of fare fees. 12 hundred of the 2000 who use the service can't afford it and will be allowed to remain at the free fare level for buses. Orwig also tried to quiet the fears of people who may be strapped for cash who can't afford the service, "Our bus drivers will never turn anyone away. If a client shows up and doesn't have the bus pass or money, that's okay. They will still get a ride from Silver Key."
Silver Key bus rider, Mary Vasquez told me she's okay with the fare change because she know how vital Silver Key buses are to her life, "It's very important. Without Silver Key, I don't know what some of would do. I appreciate it very much."
Once again, the change won't happen until July 1st.