WRTA vote: Free bus rides in Worcester to continue into 2025

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WORCESTER — The free rides will continue.

The Worcester Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board voted unanimously Thursday to keep fares free as part of the authority’s budget for the next fiscal year, through June 2025.

WRTA buses are now budgeted as free for a fifth year, dating to the start of COVID-19.

“We are thrilled that the WRTA Board has voted to continue free-fare service. Today, ridership is higher than pre-pandemic levels and higher than it’s ever been. With the extension of the program, families and residents in WRTA service areas will continue to have access to affordable transit,” Deb Cary of the Massachusetts Audubon Society and the Zero Fare Worcester Coalition said in a statement. “Free-fares reduces greenhouse gas emissions by getting people out of cars onto public transit. This is an initiative that addresses the environment and equity.”

Meantime, the authority is reporting increased ridership.

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