MCAT offers free rides for donations

MANATEE — Manatee County Area Transit on Dec. 15 will offer a special holiday promotion that will allow passengers to ride the bus free for one day in exchange for a children’s toy or non-perishable food item.

MCAT’s first ever Ride For Less Day will allow fixed-route bus passengers to bring a non-perishable food item or a children’s toy in exchange for an all-day bus pass.

“In turn, we’ll donate the toys and food items to the less fortunate,” said MCAT Manager Ralf Heseler. “It’s a terrific way for us to share with others.”

For those who simply want to donate for the holidays, Manatee County Community Services Department will accept food and toy donations at DeSoto and Palmetto bus stations, along with the Blake Medical Center bus stop and at the County Administrative Complex, 1112 Manatee Ave. W. Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) serves Bradenton, Ellenton, Palmetto and the Gulf Beach communities. Buses run 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. No service is offered Sunday. The fare is $1.25 each way; transfers are 25 cents each. For more information on the promotion, call (941) 747-8621 or visit