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Friday, June 14, 2024

In Her First Day in Office, Mayor Wu Proposes More Fare-Free Bus Routes for Boston – StreetsblogMASS

On her first full day working as the new mayor of Boston, Mayor Michelle Wu acted on her long-standing banner of reducing MBTA fares with a proposal to expand the service without fares on three of Boston’s bus lines: 23, 28 and 29.

The program will run for two years, and will expand on an existing 4-month pilot that has disabled toll collection on the 28th line, the busiest bus line in the country, passing Warren Street and Blue Hill Avenue between Ragles Orange Line station and Mattapan Square. .

While the entire bus system still carries only about 70 percent of their pre-epidemic passenger numbers, the number of passengers on 28 without fares is growing rapidly in the weeks following the September tariff suspension.

Fare-Free 28 is a hit with the bus riders of Roxbury, Mattapan

The other two bus lines on Woo’s proposal each share parts of their routes with the 28, through neighborhoods with a high density of transit-dependent households.

God 23, Ranked among T’s 10 busiest bus lines, travels from Raglas to Ashmont Red Line station via Warren Street.

God 29, Which runs between the Jackson Square Orange Line station and Mattapan Square, passes along Blue Hill Avenue and the new Columbus Avenue bus route.

“I’m excited to make this major step toward a brighter future for transportation. Based on the 28 free bus pilot created by Mayor Janey, we will expand access to transit between our neighborhoods, connect more people to schools, places of worship, small businesses and their community centers. “And alleviate the burden on our bus riders and drivers alike. With stronger ties between our communities, we will reshape the boundaries of what is possible in our city,” said Mayor Michelle. hook In a press release announcing the proposal.

The expansion of the free bus service will rely on the use of $ 8 million of the city’s federal aid funds for the epidemic to compensate the MTBA for the loss of revenue from travel during the program’s two-year period.

Wu submitted this application for funding to Boston City Council on Wednesday, her first full day in office as mayor of Boston.

At the regular city council meeting on Wednesday, several council members expressed a desire to suspend city council laws and approve the spending immediately.

General Council member Michael Flaherty, who heads a special city council committee on epidemic recovery efforts, said the proposal “complies with the same broad objectives of ARPA funds: support for immediate economic stabilization for households and businesses, and address the systemic public. “This is one of the most popular issues we have discussed, and a great opportunity for our council.”

But Councilwoman Andrea Campbell, whose county includes parts of all three bus lines at Woo’s proposal, opposed quick follow-up on the issue.

“I fully support free buses … However, I oppose suspending the laws and passing them today for two reasons. One, I do think residents should have a chance to consider. Especially those who do not get their bus line for free … but the second part is that during the talks “Related to the campaign, it was clarified that our former mayor paid too much for the 28 (free pilot),” Campbell claimed.

Council member Flaherty asked Campbell to reconsider its objection in order to implement the plan as soon as possible, but Campbell refused to do so, citing the council’s responsibility as ‘fiscal stewards’ to review the agreement between the city and MBTA.

Campbell’s opposition rejected an official vote on the proposal and referred the policy to a public hearing in the Covid 19 Recovery Council committee in Boston. If a pre-Thanksgiving hearing can be scheduled, the city council will be able to return the motion to a vote at its next scheduled meeting, on December 1st.

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