D.C. Could Give Residents $100 Transit Subsidy

A proposed bill would distribute $100 in transit fare to District residents and provide $10 million to improving bus and streetcar services in underserved neighborhoods.

1 minute read

September 28, 2022, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Metro Bus

Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock

The Washington, D.C. Council’s Committee on Transportation approved a proposed act that would give District residents a $100 monthly transit subsidy in an effort to boost ridership by bringing in new users and support low-income riders who never stopped depending on public transit.

As John Besche reports in Greater Greater Washington, the program will automatically enroll all eligible D.C. residents, but Besche notes that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will only receive funds when riders actually spend it on trips.

Councilmember Charles Allen, who sponsored the bill, acknowledged that “low-cost or free service isn’t worth much if the system doesn’t meet riders’ needs.” Accordingly, “The bill also provides a $10 million Transit Equity fund for WMATA and the District Department of Transportation to improve bus and streetcar service, and prioritize underserved areas where people are dependent on public transit.” The support would come at a critical time for the beleaguered WMATA, which has been experiencing service disruptions, delays, and mechanical problems.

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