Full and original article posted on Patch.com
WORCESTER, MA — The Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) board this week will discuss whether to keep bus fares free — a policy that has almost universal support from elected officials in Worcester.
WRTA suspended fares after the pandemic began in March 2020 as a way to keep passengers and drivers distanced. The WRTA board has voted several times since to keep the policy in place, but the fare-free period is set to expire Dec. 31.
Federal transit data indicates the policy may have benefited the transit agency. WRTA retained the highest level of ridership compared to pre-pandemic levels of any regional system in Massachusetts, including larger systems like the MBTA and Pioneer Valley Transit Authority.
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