WRTA Board Approved Fare-Free Transit through June 2025

Full and original article posted on This Week in Worcester

WORCESTER – The Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) Advisory Board voted unanimously on Thursday morning to continue its fare free program through June 2025. The board voted to approve the program last year through June 2024.

WRTA buses became fare-free in 2020, during the covid-19 pandemic, although there was advocacy for the program in prior years. Thursday’s vote extends the program into its fifth year.

According to a 2019 report by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau, in FY 2019, WRTA farebox revenue fell to just over $3 million, the lowest level since 2010. That revenue accounted for about 14 percent of the WRTA budget. In an update to its 2019 report in 2020, the research bureau found that in fiscal year 2019, fares collected fell again to under $3 million, covering just eight percent of its budget. They also found that the WRTA spent about $850,000 for the infrastructure to collect and process rider fees.

Click here to read full article.