- Providing the city council passes the budget, Kansas City, Missouri will be the first in the U.S. to implement zero-fare bus rides.
- Transit officials think the bus fare saved will be money to inject back into the economy.
- If the program works in Kansas City, it could provide a model for other cities to follow.
Kansas City has already dipped its toe in providing free rides. Two years ago, veterans rode gratis after the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) gave them free bus passes. Last year, students got the same privilege. As noted by NPR, KCATA says that 23 percent of riders over the past several years haven’t paid to ride anyway.
Transit officials think that bus fare saved could be invested back into the economy and also improve the safety and efficiency of the system. (Photo: KCATA)
Transit officials supported the policy because they thought that bus fare saved could be invested back into the economy while also improving the safety and efficiency of the system. Mayor Quinton Lucas was also on board to pass the resolution, stating it as a goal during his inauguration.
Contingent upon city budget
Funding for the $8 million dollar project is dependent upon the council passing the proposed budget for next year. Providing the budget passes, Kansas City, Missouri will have the honor of being the first to implement a zero-fare bus policy. Riders could begin stepping aboard in 2020.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Cities need to incentivize people to opt for greener forms of transportation. For those reluctant to take a bus, riding for free will surely make some people reconsider. If the system works as planned, Kansas City could be a model for other cities to provide free city transport too.