LONDON, ONT -- The free ride is over. Starting Wednesday the London Transit Commission (LTC) resumes collecting fares on all city buses.

In April, London transit responded to concerns about spreading COVID-19 between drivers and passengers boarding the bus by keeping the front doors closed.

With fare boxes by the driver, rear boarding meant free rides and a multi-million dollar hit to LTC’s bottom line over the past four months.

Last week it was announced that front-door boarding and fare collection would resume Aug. 19.

“I don’t mind paying for the bus. I feel it’s time to get the economy going and support local transit,” says Matt Dyer.

“If you’re on a fixed income, or whatever, it was really nice,” adds Leanne Woosen.

CTV News spotted bus #120 operating without a barrier and asked if the LTC was prepared to resume front-door boarding.

“Only buses equipped with barriers will be used for service. The remaining busses will be held back from service until they have a barrier,” says LTC General Manager Kelly Paleczny.

Riders are returning, but in July numbers were still down 47 per cent on weekdays and 25 to 30 per cent on weekends.

Customer confidence will be critical to ensuring ridership and corresponding fare revenue rebounds.

A cash fare is $3. Tickets and reloadable cards will also be accepted. Monthly passes won’t be valid until Sept. 1.