WTA hosting party to pass out gold cards

Whatcom Transportation Authority is attempting to make one of its best kept secrets not so secret anymore.

The agency will host a party called the “Gold Card Gathering,” from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, Aug. 26, at Bellingham’s Barkley Village gazebo. Along with coffee and cake, WTA will issue gold cards to those 75 years of age and older. With the card, riders can hop on a WTA bus for free.

The transportation service has offered the gold card for a long time but hasn’t marketed the benefit much in recent years, said Maureen McCarthy, spokeswoman for WTA. Riders 75 and older can also pick up the card at the downtown Bellingham station or at the WTA offices at 4111 Bakerview Spur.

“We’ve learned it was a best kept secret that we didn’t mean to keep secret,” McCarthy said.

Children younger than the age of 8 can also ride the bus for free. Both groups were given approximately 145,000 rides in 2015, representing about 3 percent of ridership.

Dave Gallagher: 360-715-2269, @BhamHeraldBiz