Free Fare

Front of city bus driving down tree-lined street, surrounded by cars.

Free Bus Fare Pilot Boosts Ridership in Twin Cities

The free fare pilot program is only partially complete, but even if it is deemed “successful,” it is unclear how — or if — Metro Transit plans to adopt free fare policies for the long term.

February 11, 2024 - Axios Twin Cities

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

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

New York MTA Bus

How Free Fares Could Benefit Bus Drivers

Free transit would reduce boarding times and improve working conditions for bus drivers, the 'frontline workers' responsible for fare collection and enforcement.

September 14, 2021 - NextCity


Opinion: Give Students Free SEPTA Rides All Week Long

Philadelphia's student passes cut off at 8 p.m. and don't include weekends, but expanding the free fare program could help SEPTA rebuild ridership and create lifelong transit users.

July 23, 2021 - The Philadelphia Inquirer

Los Angeles Metro Bus

Opinion: Transit Needs to Be Better, Not Cheaper

With many U.S. transit agencies facing severe gaps in service and budget shortfalls, some advocates argue that improved service matters more than free fares.

June 9, 2021 - Slate

People boarding bus at LA Metro Bus Stop, Alvarado Street, Los Angeles

Can L.A. Metro Fund its Fareless Transit Pilot?

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors has approved a program that would eliminate fares for students and low-income riders, but the program's future rests on finding sustainable funding sources.

June 6, 2021 - LAist

Kansas Transportation

Free Transit Under Consideration in Kansas City

The idea of free transit is sold as a benefit to the environment and the city's most vulnerable residents in this editorial by the Kansas City Star.

November 12, 2019 - Kansas City Star

Tampa TECO  Streetcar

Tampa Streetcar Sees Big Boost in Ridership

Free fares and more frequent service have resulted in a huge increase in ridership on the TECO Line Streetcar and proved skeptics wrong.

April 14, 2019 - Streetsblog USA

Captal Metro

Transit Rides Now Free for Kids in Austin

Capital Metro is growing a new generation of public transit riders.

December 6, 2018 - Austin Monitor

Houston Looks At Reshaping Transit

Houston Mayor Annise Parker is considering a big shake-up of the city's public transportation, including the option of transitioning to a fare-free system.

February 11, 2010 - The Houston Chronicle

Australian Province Considers Free Transit

The government of New South Wales is considering a plan to remove fares for public transit.

April 28, 2009 - The Daily Telegraph

Free Pancakes, Free Rides, and (Almost) Free Beer

We Americans love a discount. Wal-Mart and the discount retail boom are proof enough of that. What we love even more, though, is free stuff. Just slap the word "free" before almost anything and we'll line up. This mentality represents some challenges for cities, but also some opportunities. The challenge is that if people don't have to pay for something, they probably won't. And the opportunity is that if people don't have to pay for something, they're way more likely to want it. Let's think of this concept in terms of three innately American traditions: pancakes, mobility, and beer.

March 19, 2009 - Nate Berg

Free Bus Idea Fizzles in Eugene

A proposal to make Eugene, Oregon's bus system fare-free has been voted down by the regional transit district.

February 28, 2008 - The Register-Guard

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