'Freedom to Move Act' Would Provide Federal Support for Free Transit Programs

New legislation by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) would also target fare enforcement on the nation's transit systems.

Read Time: 1 minute

July 6, 2020, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Subway Turnstiles

Benoit Daoust / Shutterstock

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) recently introduced the Freedom to Move Act according to an article by Alissa Walker. "Under the program — which is co-sponsored by Senator Ed Markey, the co-author of the Green New Deal — $5 billion in annual competitive grants would be made available to agencies that offer fare-free transit access. This way, transit agencies can use that money to improve service or stops without worrying about making up for lost fare revenue."

Rep. Pressly co-founded the "Future of Transportation" caucus in 2019, in an acknowledgement of the regressive nature of federal transportation policy, and co-authored a bill to fund local Vision Zero programs along with Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.).

Walker interviewed Rep. Pressly for insight into the motivation behind the new Freedom to Move Act. For instance, writes Walker, "a key goal of Pressley’s legislation is also to eliminate fare enforcement, which she says disproportionally targets Black transit riders like herself. In New York City, a 2020 Community Service Society study showed that enforcement rates are 60 percent higher at stations in high-poverty Black and Latinx communities, with fare checks more likely to end in arrest."

Thursday, July 2, 2020 in Curbed

Green bike lane with flexible delineators and textures paint in Hoboken, New Jersey

America’s Best New Bike Lanes

PeopleForBikes highlights some of the most exciting new bike infrastructure projects completed in 2022.

January 31, 2023 - PeopleforBikes

Walkable, mixed-use neighborhood in Barcelona, Spain

Conspiracy Theorists Discover the 15-Minute City

USA Today debunks the false claim that the United Nations’ call for enabling 15-minute cities is a coded plan to institute ‘climate change lockdowns.’

February 8, 2023 - USA Today

Aerial view of MBTA commuter rail station in Concord, Massachusetts among green trees

Massachusetts Zoning Reform Law Reaches First Deadline

Cities and towns had until January 31 to submit their draft plans for rezoning areas near transit stations to comply with a new state law.

February 1, 2023 - Streetsblog Mass

Washington

Washington Could Legalize Single-Staircase Buildings

Supporters of ‘point access blocks,’ which are common in Europe and other parts of the world, say the design maximizes living space and lowers the cost of construction.

February 8 - The Urbanist

View of downtown San Francisco from top of windy street at sunset with Coit Tower in distance

San Francisco Housing Plan Gets State Approval

The city cleared a major hurdle as its housing plan, which paves the way for 82,000 new homes by 2030, is certified by the state.

February 8 - KALW

Green Line, Los Angeles

Rail Transit Plans Would Connect L.A.’s South Bay to the Regional Rail System

Two new transit extensions promise several new routes for South Bay residents to access the Los Angeles region’s transit system.

February 8 - The Source