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Boston wants to make three bus lines free. Here’s how it’s worked out – Source

On her first full day as the mayor of Boston, Michelle Wu asked the Boston City Council for $8 million in order to make three city bus lines free for two years. The idea of fare-free public transit may sound surprising, particularly for those used to swiping or tapping their transit cards as part of their daily routine, or people who have noticed fares steadily ticking up over the years as transit lines struggle with their operational budgets (a trend that has only worsened during the pandemic, which decimated ridership in many cities).

But free public transit is being tried in more and more cities globally—and in the U.S.. About 100 cities around the world, mostly in Europe, have some free-fare policy, and more cities have been testing out the concept (Wu’s proposal builds on a pilot put in place by the previous Boston mayor, Kim Janey, in which one major bus line was fare free for four months). The idea behind most of these policies is to increase ridership and get people out…

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