Saturday, September 26, 2020

WRTA extends free fares to end of year

WORCESTER — The Worcester Regional Transit Authority will remain fare free at least until the end of the year, as advisory board members worried that reinstituting fares may be premature if COVID-19 surges in the fall.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Benefits of #freepublictransit via @livingonearth

BELTRAN: Surveys show that most of the riders in the free bus program make less than 20,000 dollars a year. And since the program started, ridership has gone up about 20% percent.
RIVERA: I think that I get two reactions, one that people are happy. And two is when are we going to expand it?
BELTRAN: Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera was a key driver behind the city’s free bus program. He says it’s a way to help low income residents.
RIVERA: You give people the ways to go make a good living, or go to school or go to the doctor's office or do all those things without worrying about having a car. With a very small infusion of funds you can give people a decent amount of relief in their wallet. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Candidate for US Congress from MA-08 calls for #freepublictransit

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

President of Massachusetts Senate supports #freepublictransit for Worcester

The benefits of providing regional transit authority services without charging a fare are clear but hard to quantify, Senate President Emerita Harriette Chandler said in a recent letter to the Worcester City Council.
..."As Worcester continues to undergo a renaissance, there has never been a better time to undertake a zero-fare approach to the [Worcester Regional Transit Authority]. It has been shown to dramatically increase ridership across demographic groups and destigmatize the use of public transit, bringing with it numerous benefits," Chandler, a Worcester Democrat, wrote. "Increased ridership offers potential for increased pedestrian traffic in our downtown and commercial districts, generating more lively, walkable areas and increased foot traffic for our businesses." 

Friday, March 6, 2020

Support #freepublictransit candidates

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Fare-free bus idea gains traction in Worcester via @NCKotsopoulos

WORCESTER - Advocates for a fare-free Worcester bus system filled the City Council chamber Monday night to make their case.
About 90 people, reflecting a wide cross section of the community, attended the first in a series of public hearings before the City Council Public Service and Transportation Committee to consider recommendations made by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau last May for a fare-free bus system.
During 90 minutes of public testimony, 37 people spoke, a vast majority in favor of giving the fare-free system a try.
Those who spoke included representatives from the local business community, college students, environmental advocates, community and social justice activists, and many everyday riders of Worcester Regional Transit Authority buses. 

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Fares are user fees, they protect the subsidized, for-profit, oil-auto-sprawl axis

“It’s not just the cost, it’s the waiting,” Gray said. “Nothing is changing, so why are we paying more?” Some of her neighbors bought cars, she said, figuring that if transportation was going to be expensive, at least it could be reliable, too. 
The above statement is more powerful than all the "studies" of the planning "experts." The purpose of user-fees [fares] is to ration use. The higher the fare, the less the use. They keep you in a car.

And below. This paragraph destroys the trolls' current best argument. Trolls tell us to try to make public transit better before making it fare-free. That would consign us to 100 more years of lobbying.
It’s a move that Gray and other local advocates believe will not only ease the financial burden on riders but also increase the number of people who choose to take transit, ultimately touching off a virtuous cycle that will lead to better bus service and fewer cars on the road.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Candidate for Massachusetts State Representative calls for #freepublictransit

Increasing fares has led to decline. Fare-free make economic sense.

Fare free transit makes both moral and economic sense, and would be a critical step in fighting climate change. The MBTA has increased fares 4 times since 2012, while ridership has continued to decline. Cities that have adopted free public transit, meanwhile, have seen ridership increase as well as a surge in transit equity. Furthermore, fares from bus and subway rides amounted to just over 20 percent in revenues for the MBTA budget in 2018, a gap that could be filled with new progressive revenue if fares were eliminated. 

Monday, February 17, 2020

Best way to improve public transit is start by removing fares

Michelle Wu, a City Council member in Boston, wants everyone to ride for free on subways and buses that crisscross the region. 
Wu says the city is experiencing a "transportation crisis" as ridership declines, rush-hour traffic rises and the infrastructure of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority continues to crumble.

The transportation authority needs salvation and money for repairs, commuters and local transit advocates say, but instead of raising fares beyond the $2.90 it costs now if you pay for a subway ride in cash, Wu thinks a solution may lie in dropping fares altogether. 

Monday, February 10, 2020

Brockton, MA, City Councilors open-minded to idea of #freepublictransit

“I haven’t heard of it in Brockton but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening,” said City Council President Shirley Asack. “If other cities and towns are doing it, we should be as well.”
At-Large City Councilor and former mayor Moises Rodrigues expressed interest in fare-free programs for low-income riders or students, but stopped short of supporting a universal subsidy.
Win Farwell, another former mayor and at-large city councilor, said the $225,000 price tag in Lawrence seems affordable in the grand scheme of municipal finances.
“That is not a large sum of money within a $450 million budget, which Brockton has,” he said.

Ridership up 24% on fare-free buses in Lawrence, MA.

“The amount of money we’re collecting in fares is so little that we just decided to cover that amount with city money,” Rivera said. “I don’t know what Worcester or Brockton’s money situation is but it can’t be worse than mine. What I would say is just do it, use your own money. I think you’re going to find it’s very inexpensive.” 
Free buses have proven to be popular in Lawrence. Surveys conducted on the three subsidized routes found that ridership jumped 24 percent. Ninety percent of those riders were commuting to work, the data showed, and 87 percent of them earned less than $20,000 per year. 
“It says there is a need,” Rivera said of the ridership bump. “People say, ‘Can a dollar really be an impediment to travel?’ But when it’s $2 every day for a year, that’s real money.” 

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

New Haven, CT, Mayor joins rally for better public transit

NEW HAVEN — Residents called for greater investment in public transportation and city streets Tuesday, with hopes of bolstering economic opportunity, combating climate change and giving all New Haven residents an equal ability to move through the city and region safely and comfortably.

...Dottie Green, a member of an organization that works to remember Parks’ legacy. “You cannot have equity and limit people’s access.

...“People should have more options to, in an affordable way, access their jobs, access government, and lead a life that is safe and allows us more opportunities to interact with people,” said Mayor Justin Elicker.

...According to the New Haven Independent, nine pedestrians were struck and killed in New Haven last year, and two more have been killed this year.

...“Lack of good, proper transportation is a barrier. When a person can’t find a job, or afford transportation to get to a job, or get home because the bus doesn’t run early enough or late enough, that is a huge barrier,” said Dumas. “Transportation is a civil rights issue.”

...“If I can’t access rural communities, or I can’t access (people in) communities that don’t look like me, then that is institutional racism built into our transportation system that we have to address — and we need to address,” said Farmer. 

Friday, January 31, 2020

Cambridge, MA, takes another step toward #freepublictransit

CAMBRIDGE (CBS) — Cambridge is considering becoming the next city to offer fare-free bus service, joining Lawrence in an effort to increase ridership. On Monday night, the Cambridge City Council will decide whether to research the details of a pilot program that would make one MBTA bus line free.
But many questions remain. Biggest of all, the costs.
“It’s sort of the green new deal idea at the local level. Right now, traffic is the worst it’s ever been,” said Cambridge City Councilor Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler. Since public transportation gets cars off the streets, Cambridge is considering whether to encourage bus ridership by making one of the routes free.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Ireland Elections - People Before Profit promises immediate #freepublictransit nationwide

Solidarity-People Before Party has launched a 'Planet Before Profit' climate action plan, saying its policies are "far-reaching and radical".
Among the proposals are free public transport, a pollution tax for airlines and a new green payment to compensate dairy farmers for reducing their herds.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Cambridge, MA, considering #freepublictransit

CAMBRIDGE (CBS) — Cambridge is considering becoming the next city to offer fare-free bus service, joining Lawrence in an effort to increase ridership. On Monday night, the Cambridge City Council will decide whether to research the details of a pilot program that would make one MBTA bus line free. 

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Worcester, MA, takes another giant step toward #freepublictransit

WORCESTER- City Manager Ed Augustus has appointed City Councilor At-Large Gary Rosen to serve on the Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) Advisory Board.
Over the past year, Rosen has been an outspoken advocate for a fare-free bus system in Worcester.
Rosen will replace the City Manager’s chief of staff, Jacob Sanders, who served a four-year term. Rosen also serves as the chair of the Standing Committee on Public Service & Transportation. 

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Boston City Council President supports #freepublictransit

Candidate for MA04 Congress supports #freepublictransit

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The "doability" of #freepublictransit

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Monday, January 6, 2020

Boston Globe calls for #freepublictransit

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Boston City Councillor supports #freepublictransit

Ridership up 20% in Lawrence, MA, #freepublictransit "experiment"

Wu is a leading advocate for free public transportation — pointing not just to the economic justice payoff, but also to the environmental benefits. By encouraging more people to ride the bus or hop on the train — ridership is up 20 percent on the subsidized Lawrence lines — free transit can ease congestion and curb greenhouse gas emissions.