Valley Transit’s free rides are rolling around again this year.

Starting next week Walla Walla’s public transportation system offers a summer vacation from fares, said Director Dick Fondahn.

The normally 50-cent fixed-route fare will be waived for three months beginning Wednesday. The free rides will continue through summer. Fare collection resumes Sept. 6, the day after Labor Day. Passes for September will be available to buy starting Aug. 15.

The fare-free approach is a path Valley Transit has previously traveled.

With school out for summer and buses not transporting students, the free fare is a way to introduce Valley Transit to newcomers and also benefit those who use it regularly. The offer has typically built ridership through retention of the new passengers.

The fare-free promotion applies to fixed routes and Dial-A-Ride operations, which run 6:15 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. Flex Routes operate weekday evenings, 5:50-9:10. Saturday Flex Routes are 10:45 a.m.-6:10 p.m.

Job Access riders need a valid monthly pass for June, July and August. Route deviations are detailed under the “Rider Alert” notice on Valley Transit’s website at

Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at 509-526-8321, or on Twitter at

Vicki covers business and economic development, including tourism, the Port of Walla Walla and the Strictly Business column, as well as features. She has been reporting for the Union-Bulletin since late 2001.