I do not agree that Island Transit should charge a fare.
The taxpayers have voted to give Island Transit a sales tax increase three times with the idea that IT was fare free and has an obligation to the citizens to keep it free. So do it.
There are homeless students and vets who use the transit to stay warm and get to different parts of the island. Let them continue to do so. Paratransit riders are usually on fixed incomes, which would cause more economic hardship with fares for them.
Collecting fares is a cause of aggression and violence towards operators and causes panhandling for fees at bus stops.
Collecting fees will cause a line up and slow down the bus departures and cause delays and missed connections.
Free Island Transit is a unique part of Whidbey Island and many tourists enjoy the ride and that it is free, so keep it free and a tourist attraction. Keep Island Transit free. Keep our transit operators safe.