WRTA to continue free service into March

Full and original article posted on Telegram.com

WORCESTER — The Worcester Regional Transit Authority will continue its zero fare policy until mid-March, but advisory board members sought more information on federal funding before making a decision on the future of fare-free service.

“We need to hear more on the (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act) money,” WRTA Advisory Board member Bob Spain of Millbury said at the board’s meeting Thursday morning. “I’m not convinced there aren’t funds there to cover zero fare … but the worst thing we can do is cut off our nose to spite our face and give zero fares, then cut service back because we can’t fund it.”

The Worcester Regional Research Bureau advocated for a fare-free WRTA in a May 2019 report, and the idea quickly gained traction in the city as a way to boost the transit authority’s ridership, make the system more economically and socially equitable, and help the environment.

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