Mayor Wu Working To Expand Fare-Free Bus Service

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Boston's new Mayor Michelle Wu filed an order to help expand the MBTA's fare-free bus service program, according to the City of Boston.

The appropriation order would set aside $8 million of federal COVID recovery funds to make the 23, 28, and 29 bus lines free for a period of two years. Former Mayor Kim Janey created the fare-free bus program for the 28 bus line back in August. The program got extended until the end of 2021 earlier this month.

“I am excited to take this key step towards a brighter transit future," Mayor Wu said in a statement. "We will expand access to transit across our neighborhoods, connecting more people to their schools, places of worship, small businesses, and community centers––and easing congestion on our bus riders and drivers alike.”

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Janey created the plan to provide relief for riders on one of the busiest bus routes in the city. This route saw ridership jump to 92 percent of pre-pandemic ridership after the city instituted the program, while the rest of the bus and subway systems are only at 53 percent, according to the City of Boston.

Mayor Wu will next work with the Boston City Council and the MBTA to help implement the program. The goal of this expanded service is to measure the benefits of having fare-free busses and fits into the mayor's broader goal of providing free public transit, according to the City of Boston.

WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) reports.

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