Fare-Free Transit

Row of four red and white MUNI ticketing machines in transit station in San Francisco, California.

How Fair and Viable Is Free Transit?

Without other dedicated funding sources, U.S. transit agencies likely can’t sustain fare-free programs.

February 27, 2024 - Stateline

Woman waiting at city bus stop with blue bus pulling up.

Opinion: Free Transit Has Proven Itself

Eliminating transit fares can have benefits that ripple across a local economy and improve livelihoods.

January 25, 2024 - Gazette Leader

City bus in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Massachusetts State Budget Funds Free Transit Programs

The transportation budget allocates at least $15 million to new and existing fare-free bus transit programs.

January 11, 2024 - Streetsblog Massachusetts

Rapid bus at station at night in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

OKC Celebrates New Rapid Bus Line With Free Rides

The agency wants to showcase the benefits of a recently opened BRT line connecting the northwest part of the city to downtown.

December 5, 2023 - The Oklahoman

"Welcome to New Mexico - Land of Enchantment"  roadside sign with red text onyellow background and rustic wood frame around sign.

New Mexico Could Become First State With Free Public Transit

With less than a dozen transit agencies statewide, advocates say New Mexico could effectively make all of its transit free with enough legislative support.

November 22, 2023 - Streetblog USA

Blue Miami-Dade transit trolleybus.

Miami-Dade County Suspends Transit Fares for Rest of 2023

Starting November 13, bus and rail rides will be free as the county rolls out its ‘Better Bus’ system redesign.

October 25, 2023 - MSN

Blue bus in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Albuquerque Could Extend Free Transit Pilot

City councilors say data from a fare-free pilot program validates the economic and social benefits of free transit.

October 17, 2023 - KRQE

Close-up from back of blue and white New York City bus

New York Launches Free Transit Pilot on Five Bus Lines

The lines were chosen based on the income levels, ridership, and lack of subway access in surrounding neighborhoods.

October 11, 2023 - El Pais

Interior of busy city bus with people standing, holding on to top bar.

New York MTA Makes Five Bus Routes Fare-Free

The state-funded effort is a way to assess how free fares impact ridership.

September 27, 2023 - Urbanize New York

White and green Rhode Island Public Transit Agency bus

Rhode Island Ends Free Transit Program

The state’s public transit agency cited cost overruns and a looming ‘fiscal cliff.’

August 14, 2023 - The Center Square

Passengers lined up to board city bus in Washington, D.C. to Dulles Airport

Complicating the Free Transit Vs. Service Debate

Pitting Washington, D.C.’s K Street Transitway against free transit oversimplifies a more complex issue.

May 15, 2023 - Streetsblog USA

A proposed cross section of a center-running, protected bus lane.

D.C. Fare-Free Transit Program Could Come at the Expense of the K Street Transitway

When presented with a choice between investing in improved service or funding a fare-free program, the D.C. Council is choosing fare-free transit, and potentially overriding the wishes of the mayor.

May 2, 2023 - The Washington Post

CTtransit bus driving through snowy street in Norwalk, Connecticut

Connecticut’s Ends Fare-Free Pilot

State officials say federal requirements forced the end of a twelve-month pilot program, and that the state doesn’t have the funding to continue providing free fares with the end of federal assistance.

April 20, 2023 - Connecticut Public Radio

Portland Transit

Opinion: Improving Transit More Important Than Free Fares

More investments in high-quality transit service coupled with income-based discounts could offer a better way to boost ridership and help low-income riders.

April 18, 2023 - Route Fifty

Close-up view of empty bus from behind seat. Seats have blue upholstery

Opinion: Free Fares Won’t Solve the Transit Crisis

“The biggest US transit agencies must be allowed to simply focus on delivering high-quality service. There is no Plan B.”

March 29, 2023 - Vox

Seattle buses in line at a depot with Seattle skyline in background

Seattle Brings Free Transit to Public Housing

Linking transit programs to housing can lower administrative costs and streamline the process for riders.

January 31, 2023 - Route Fifty

two riders wearing masks during the covid-19 pandemic exit a blue city bus in the Bronx in New York City.

Can New York Legislators Make Buses Free While Improving Service?

A pair of state legislators hope to make buses free while improving service levels on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) bus system in New York City. The effort will require a new level of political will for transit.

December 19, 2022 - AMNY

Kansas City Bus

Free Transit, But at What Cost?

Opinion: The movement toward fare-free transit might have more to do with optics and politics than planning.

December 14, 2022 - James Brasuell

Blue CT Transit bus in Hartford, Connecticut with state capitol building in background

Connecticut Extends Free Bus Fares

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

December 5, 2022 - Mass Transit

Metro Bus

Free Rides, Overnight Service Considered for Metro Transit in D.C.

Washington, D.C. councilmembers are making a bold commitment to public transit.

December 2, 2022 - The Washington Post

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