KCATA announces end of free fares for furloughed workers

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority has announced it will end free fares for furloughed federal government workers on Feb. 15.

Federal workers were furloughed without pay from Dec. 22 to Jan. 25, and received back pay after the furlough ended. While federal workers will receive back pay, some of them had a need for services until they received their back pay.

The program of free fares for furloughed workers started on Jan. 14. The federal workers went back to work two weeks ago, but the three-week temporary deal for the workers to go back to work ends on Feb. 15. There was hope from some this week that another shutdown might be avoided.

“The shutdown is over and we were waiting to confirm that they got their paychecks,” said KCATA spokeswoman Petrina Parker.

If there is another shutdown, KCATA will “cross that bridge when we get there,” reevaluate the program at that time and make a decision, Parker said.

According to KCATA, about 1,300 free rides were taken by furloughed government employees who were affected by the shutdown.

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