Urban Fold

Portland's Fareless Square to Start Charging

The largest free mass transit area in the U.S. is changing its rules next year, when it will start charging people to ride the bus.

The fare-free area in downtown Portland known as Fareless Square will no longer be free for bus riders beginning in January. The 34-year-old system will still include free rides on light rail lines and streetcars.

"Though 45,000 people board buses each weekday within the fareless area, only 14,000 remain within the square, and fewer are without prepaid bus passes, according to TriMet estimates. As a result, TriMet officials Wednesday said they expected the impact would be offset by expanded free rail service."

Full Story: The days of a free bus ride are over



Chapel Hill, NC

I think Chapel Hill Transit, in North Carolina probably has a much larger free fare zone. The entire bus system in Chapel Hill and the neighboring town of Carrboro is free, paid for by general city funds.


Irvin Dawid's picture

Chapel Hill Transit - Fare-Free-Zone for Fare-Free?

I checked what I thought was their website - Fares & Passes, but initially did not see anything like a Fareless Square. Then I scrolled down to Chapel Hill Transit and did see:
All CHT Routes -FREE - All CHT routes are provided to the public free of charge. However, I'm not sure that really consitutes a 'fareless square' type of promotion - it's more like 'free transit'.

Note, I'm posting this now as I saw that Planetizen already had posted that the buses in Portland's Fareless Sq. would soon charge....it appeared as a 'Related News Story' below "Fareless Square No Longer Fareless"
Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

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