'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.

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

Soldier Field

Phase 1 Revealed for $20 Billion Chicago Megaproject

Plans for One Central, a proposed megadevelopment that would add 22.3 million square feet of buildings to the city of Chicago, are taking shape.

October 19, 2021 - Chicago Tribune


Boston Introduces 'Maximum Parking Ratios' for Large Buildings

Large buildings with uses of all kinds will be subject to Boston's new "Maximum Parking Ratios."

October 14, 2021 - Streetsblog Mass

A person in a bright green vest with the words "Covid Marshall" patrols a street fair in Australia.

5 Tips for Planning Safe Post-Pandemic Events

As community events start move off-screen and become available to the public again, here are five ways organizers can ensure public health and safety.

October 13, 2021 - Devin Partida

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.