Dane County and Metro Transit will soon start a pilot program to provide free rides to disabled veterans.

County Executive Joe Parisi included funding to start the “Vets Ride with Pride” program in his 2013 budget at the request of Sup. Erika Hotchkiss. Madison Ald. Tim Bruer, 14th District, led an effort that recently secured a $30,000 gift from an anonymous donor to help finance the program.

The donor’s gift, intended to challenge others to donate, will be deposited with the Dane County treasurer and used to reimburse Metro for rides by participants at a rate of $1.25 per fixed-rate ride and $3.25 per paratransit ride.

Metro Commute Cards will be distributed by the Dane County Veterans Service Office. The City Council has approved the program, and a resolution finalizing the program is pending before the County Board.

More information will be available in coming weeks on when the program will start and how veterans can obtain cards, Metro spokesman Mick Rusch said.

The program will run for a year and be renewed if funding is available.

Information on how to donate can be obtained from the Veterans Service Office at 608-266-4158.

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