Kansas City, Missouri implements Zero Fare Transit; first major US city to do so

While other cities such as Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and Denver have floated around the idea, Kansas City is now the first U.S. city to offer fare-free transit.

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39th Street Bus

Kansas City, Missouri is letting its residents ride fare-free on all public transportation. Implementing the Zero Fare Transit, Kansas City became the first major city in the country to develop and implement such a plan.

The city council unanimously voted for the change, which includes all city bus routes to be fare-free. Endorsed by the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, which services multiple cities in Kansas and Missouri, the investment to the city and its residents is about “improving people’s lives.”

Currently, bus fares are $1.50 per ride or $50 for a monthly pass. The free bus service will cost Kansas City between $8 and $9 million per year, which is a cost that can be recouped elsewhere, city officials said.

“When we’re talking about improving people’s lives who are our most vulnerable citizens, I don’t think there’s any question that we need to find that money,” Eric Bunch, city councilman, said. “That’s not a ton of money and it’s money that we as a city, if we want to prioritize public transportation, it’s something that we can find.”

Supporters of the fare-free public transportation plan said it will strengthen the local economy and reduce the city’s carbon footprint by decreasing the environmental impact of private transportation. The plan also benefits the “city’s low-income residents who rely fully on public transportation for their daily commute to work,” True Activist reported.

While other cities such as Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and Denver have floated around the idea, Kansas City is now the first U.S. city to offer fare-free transit.

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