METRO Regional Transit Authority announced Tuesday that it is offering free fares for all services, including line-service, SCAT, Call-A-Bus, and Northcoast Express until further notice.

"These are challenging times for everyone," said METRO Executive Director Dawn Distler. "By offering free fares, we hope to alleviate the financial burden so many folks are unexpectedly faced with in the communities we proudly serve. We also hope this assists with the distancing challenges our bus operators face when interacting with passengers during their trips."

METRO will continue providing service, but passengers are being encouraged to stay home if their trip is not medically or otherwise necessary. All passengers are encouraged to follow the CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of germs, including washing hands often and avoiding close physical contact.

"Safety is our highest priority," Distler said. "Be assured we are doing everything we can to continue to serve our customers safely and will continue to closely follow the guidance of the CDC and local health officials. Our service is necessary for our community to continue to deal with the challenges at hand, but our dedicated team of professionals are here to provide transportation and I could not be more proud of their commitment to the citizens of Summit County. "

For updates and announcements regarding bus service, visit akronmetro.org or sign up for e-alerts at akronmetro.org/metro-enews.aspx.