(Feb. 19, 2021) Ocean City Council members voted on Tuesday to discontinue a $26 discount punch card good for eight rides on the Boardwalk tram, though the vote was not unanimous.

Councilmen Matt James, Tony DeLuca, Frank Knight, Lloyd Martin, and Mark Paddack voted in favor of eliminating the punch card, while Councilmen Peter Buas and John Gehrig voted against the measure.

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Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan

Mayor Rick Meehan said the Transportation Commission recommended the card be eliminated, primarily for safety reasons.

He explained the punch cards are sold by the conductor of the tram as passengers board, and if they decided to purchase the card, they exchange money with the conductor.

“Due to covid, this could eliminate interaction,” Meehan said of the money exchange between the passenger and conductor.

Meehan said the town would continue to sell the $4 ticket, $8 unlimited ride pass, and a senior card that is available to senior bus pass holders. The only change is to eliminate the discount card.

The mayor’s push to eliminate the discount card came shortly after it was announced that the Boardwalk tram would return to service this year, after being on hiatus because of the pandemic.

During a meeting with the Transportation Commission on Feb. 8, Meehan said it would be fine if the punch cards could be purchased in advance, but that is not possible at this time. At the same meeting, Public Works Director Hal Adkins said his department supported the elimination of the discount card to avoid interaction between the rider and conductor.

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