As I See It: Will making the WRTA fare-free solve Worcester’s transportation woes?

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Would you be in favor of the WRTA going fare-free? That is the question asked by the Worcester Free Fare Task Force in August and September of 2019 and now being being proposed for public hearings by City Counsilor Gary Rosen (chair of the Public Service and Transportation Committee).

This question was sparked by the May 2019 Worcester Regional Research Bureau’s report, “The Implications of a Fare Free WRTA.” In the report, the overriding benefit of this action would be an increase in ridership.

As I sit on a Sunday morning and reflect on my potential answer, I suggest that the task force, city leaders and all Worcester citizens consider a variety of perspectives and ask a variety of questions in order to make a final recommendations. I am not opposed to going fare-free as long as we are not crowding out investing in alternative and new transportation options in the process. Perhaps the task force should be evaluating these as well?

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