WRTA to vote on extending fare-free bus service amid high ridership

Full and original article posted on Spectrum News 1

The Worcester Regional Transit Authority is expected to vote Thursday on an extension of fare-free service that has been in place since the start of the pandemic.

A new report by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau shows the WRTA is the only urban regional transit authority in the state which has met and exceeded pre-pandemic ridership levels on its fixed-route buses.

The bureau has released a series of reports on the WRTA in recent years. The most recent shows in 2019, the WRTA’s routes saw nearly 3 million unlinked passenger trips, a metric which refers to the number of passengers counted each time they board a public transportation vehicle. The number dropped to less than 2 million in 2020 but in 2022, it had risen to more than 3.5 million.

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