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Long Beach Township’s Board of Commissioners announced at its meeting earlier this month the Island-wide shuttle service, which was previously free, will now require riders to purchase a ticket. As word has spread of the new fares, residents have debated the decision, with many people mentioning they’d like the option to buy a season pass. In fact, township officials stated they will discuss the possibility of adding season passes – and perhaps also a reduced cost for certain segments of the population, as was suggested at the meeting – after this summer.

“We’ll see where the data leads,” said Commissioner Joseph Lattanzi, who devised the transportation system more than five years ago.

As of now, bus fees for this summer will be as follows: One-way shuttle rides from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. will cost $2, or passengers can pay $5 for unlimited rides until 10 p.m. After 10 p.m., the one-way fare will be $5, or pay $10 for unlimited rides until the shuttles stop operating. Riders must have exact change to purchase a ticket.

As the officials explained, the fees are based on a similar program in Ocean City, Md., that they had examined.

The LBI shuttles, which begin Memorial Day weekend, will run until 11 p.m. or midnight Sunday through Wednesday, until approximately 1:30 a.m. on Thursday and Friday, and until about 2:30 a.m. on Saturday.

For more information, visit lbishuttle.com (which isn’t yet updated with the new schedule) or call 609-342-2111. To track the buses this summer, download the LBI Shuttle app.  —J.K.-H.