Free Transit

Aerial view from directly overhead of buses parked in large asphalt lot

U.S. Transit Agencies Face a Financial Crisis

Transit providers around the country are scrambling to find new sources of revenue to replace lagging ridership and reorienting their systems to a future less dependent on daily commuters.

February 1, 2023 - Smart Cities Dive

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

Close-up of bus passengers hanging on to red straps on crowded bus

Free Fares for Buses? Don’t Forget the Trains

Fare-free programs that apply to buses and not trains create a fragmented transit system and encourage more people to use slower, less efficient modes.

December 22, 2022 - Bloomberg CityLab

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

Bus stop in Boulder, Colorado with snowy tree and snowy mountains in background

Colorado Free Transit Program Boosted Ridership

Many local transit agencies that took advantage of a state program that funded free fares throughout August have seen increased ridership even beyond the program’s end.

December 1, 2022 - The Colorado Sun

Kansas City electric streetcar

The Limits of Kansas City’s Fare-Free Experiment

For the Missouri city, the economic and social benefits of eliminating transit fares outweigh the costs, but can their success be replicated in bigger cities more dependent on farebox revenue?

December 1, 2022 - Governing

Kansas City streetcar with colorful wrap at Union Station

Kansas City Streetcar to Extend to Rockhurst

A new extension to the Kansas City Streetcar will open up the free transit line to Rockhurst University students.

November 18, 2022 - The Rockhurst University Sentinel

Bus riders wearing masks

Opinion: Free Transit Opposition Is Tone Deaf

Critics of free transit programs argue that free fares may not decrease driving or fight climate change. Dr. Destiny Thomas explains why that argument ‘misses the point.’

August 24, 2022 - Streetsblog USA

Sound Transit Seattle

Free Transit Starts September 1 for Seattle Youth

Sound Transit is launching a fare-free program for young riders in the hopes of educating and recruiting future riders and making schools and jobs more accessible to transit-dependent youth.

August 12, 2022 - Smart Cities Dive

MARTA Station

Atlanta Transit Could Go Fare-Free

The city has tasked the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority with evaluating the feasibility of eliminating transit fares.

August 5, 2022 - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Red Albuquerque bus with man boarding

The State of America’s Free Transit Programs

Dozens of cities made public transit free during the pandemic. Can transit agencies sustain these programs?

July 25, 2022 - Diana Ionescu

Aerial view of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

South Carolina Town Blames Free Buses for Rise in Unhoused Population

City officials in North Myrtle Beach argue that a free transit program has led to a rise in the town’s homelessness rate.

July 22, 2022 - Mass Transit

Entrance to Ronstadt Transit Center, Tucson, Arizona

Tucson Extends Free Transit To End of Year

After eliminating transit fares in 2020, the city of Tucson is exploring ways to fund a permanent program.

June 22, 2022 - Tucson.com

Boston Bus

Free Transit Is Not a Silver Bullet

Cities around the country are embracing free fares to lure riders back to public transit, but the ridership recovery continues to sputter.

June 19, 2022 - Politico

Riders waiting at bus stop in Alexandria, Virginia

The Success Story of Alexandria’s Free Buses

Thanks to state and regional funding, the city eliminated fares while making service improvements.

June 7, 2022 - Governing

San Diego Metropolitan Transit System

Free Transit for San Diego Youth

The Youth Opportunity Pass program provides free transit to San Diego County youth in an effort to boost ridership and improve transportation options for young residents.

April 20, 2022 - ABC 10 News San Diego

A view of the Oakland, California skyline in Downtown.

Lessons From Oakland's Universal Basic Mobility Pilot

A program that distributed prepaid, transit-only debit cards to 500 Oakland residents has been successful in shifting transportation patterns for many of its participants.

April 11, 2022 - Smart Cities Dive

Denver Regional Transit

Colorado Proposal Would Fund Free Summer Transit

The state is weighing a plan to offer free transit rides during ozone-heavy months in an effort to improve the state's air quality.

March 30, 2022 - Colorado Public Radio

ADA Access to Mobility

Gas Too Expensive? Cincinnati Metro Has You Covered With Free Rides

Cincinnati residents and visitors will have access to free transit for a week as the agency aims to boost ridership.

March 22, 2022 - WCPO

MBTA Bus

Boston Aims for Fare-Free Transit

The city's new mayor wants to see fare-free transit funded as a public good throughout the Boston region.

March 16, 2022 - The Washington Post

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