The 2019 New York City budget includes $106 million to subsidize half the transit fare for qualified residents for six months. The city joins the ranks of Seattle, Toronto, and the Bay Area that offer income-based discounts for transit fares.
Joining Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, and Kansas City, Seattle now offers reduced bus fares to low-income residents. Some worry the program entrenches class differences and doesn't truly aid social mobility.
The ballot measure generating the most new transportation funds approved by voters this month was in Alameda County, Calif. Voters chose to double an existing sales tax to one percent and extend it to 2045, raising $7.8 billion over 30 years.
Will a large city do what its county voters refused to do—fund the county bus system, though largely within city limits? Seattle voters will be put to the test in November when asked to pay an annual $60 vehicle fee and 0.1% sales tax.
After a resounding defeat to Proposition 1, a countywide measure that would have raised fees and taxes to address an ongoing budget deficit at King County Metro Transit, Seattle is scrambling to find the money to preserve local bus routes.