Connecticut Extends Free Bus Fares

Local leaders applaud the move, but are calling on the state to keep fares free permanently.

1 minute read

December 5, 2022, 6:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

The Connecticut General Assembly voted to extend free bus fares in the state until the end of March 2023, but transit advocates and city leaders in cities like Hartford and New Haven hope the state will make fare-free transit permanent, reports Mark Zaretsky in Mass Transit.

Zaretsky quotes  East Rock Alder Anna Festa, D-10, chairwoman of the Board of Alders' City Service and Environmental Policy Committee, who said, “Eliminating fares has increased ridership and improved efficiency. This benefits everyone by lessening the number of cars on the road and reducing emissions.” Wooster Square Alder Eli Sabin, D-7, pointed to the economic impact of free bus fare, which can save residents as much as $1,000 per year.

The extended fare-free program is coupled with the extension of a gas tax holiday until the end of December, after which the gas tax will gradually increase until May. “Free bus service costs the state about $2.7 million a month, while the gas tax holiday that the General Assembly also voted to extend through the end of the year costs the state about $20 million a month, with the figure reaching as high as $25 million in the summer, when people drive the most.”

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