Massachusetts transit agency considers fare-free buses

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts public transit agency is considering a fare-free bus system.

The Telegram & Gazette reports that the Worcester Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board voted unanimously last week to conduct a fare analysis that includes consideration of a fare-free system.

In a report in May, The Research Bureau called the WRTA “a perfect candidate” for a fare-free bus system. The report calculated that the $2 million to $3 million annual cost to provide free service could be made up through cost savings, increased governmental aid and partnerships. The report said offering the service for free would reverse the system’s declining ridership.

WRTA Administrator Dennis Lipka says to go fare-free “we have to find a sustainable way of making that up” and one-time grants would not be sufficient.

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