Metro is currently conducting a study to consider eliminating bus and rail fares.
Steve Hymon from The Source shared – A new internal Metro exploratory task force will begin working September 1 on a proposal to eliminate fares for all riders on Metro buses and trains, Metro CEO Phil Washington announced at today’s meeting of the Metro Board of Directors.
The effort will be called the Fareless System Initiative (FSI or OPERATION FSI) and the task force will deliver a plan to the Metro CEO and ultimately to the Metro Board of Directors for their consideration by the end of 2020 with the plan including possible funding scenarios and sources.
No other large transit system in the world has gone entirely fareless. In his remarks, Phil said that he views eliminating fares as an economic development tool that will also improve mobility for all people and put money back in the pockets of those who need it the most. That’s especially important as L.A. County recovers from the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
Phil also made it clear that he views fareless transit as a transformative effort. Combined with Metro’s other work to reduce traffic congestion, fare-free transit would greatly increase transit ridership, take a noticeable number of cars off the road, help create more public spaces that better serve the majority of people, and improve air quality in L.A. County and California.
“LA Metro has a moral obligation to pursue a fareless system and help our region recover from both a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic and the devastating effects of the lack of affordability in the region.” Phil told The Source. “Fare-free transit will help essential workers, moms and dads, students, seniors and riders with disabilities. I view this as something that could change the life trajectory of millions of people and families in L.A. County, the most populous county in America.”
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