One city moves to eliminate bus fare; could Burlington, Milton, and Oakville do the same?

 

What if anyone at any time could hop on and off the bus without paying a single dime?

Kansas City, Missouri is close to doing just that. City council just voted unanimously (13-0) to pass a historic resolution to make all fixed-route public transportation fare-free within the city. It’s called “Zero Fare Transit” and the move will mean lost revenue of “$8 million to $9 million a year from bus fares”, according to local news station, KSHB.

Why would a municipality be so willing to lose that much revenue? Simple. They’re playing the long game.

Free transit means a higher quality of life for residents, less stress on infrastructure with fewer vehicles on the road, and of course, less stress on the environment.

Kansas City council is confident the move will improve the local economy in the long-run.

Burlington, Milton, and Oakville have experimented with discounted bus fares—even eliminating boarding costs all together for seniors on specific days at certain times. Burlington is even looking at eliminating bus fares for youth.

Kansas City has a population of just under 500,00 and more than 2.3 million in the metropolitan area. “City council still needs to work out details of the proposal, including how it will be funded and where that money will come from”, according to KSHB.

A trip on a Kansas City bus costs $1.50 USD per ride or $50 for a monthly pass.

In Halton, fare can cost you anywhere from $2 to $4 per single ride or $129 per month for an adult PRESTO pass.

(photo credit: Oakville Transit)

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