Free Buses In Worcester: Councilor Wants To Move On Idea

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WORCESTER, MA — A Worcester Councilor wants to study making WRTA bus service fare-free, an idea that is gaining traction among transit activists in cities across the U.S. In Worcester, the idea has been talked about for months, and even has support from the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Councilor Gary Rosen is asking the Council’s Committee on Public Service and Transportation to hold public hearings this year across Worcester on the fare-free idea. The idea was first proposed in a report released last May by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau. Eliminating bus fares might boost WRTA ridership, which hit a 13-year low in 2018, the report said. Free fares would also benefit low-income people — close to 70 percent of bus riders earn under $25,000 per year, according to WRTA.

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