“If we suspend fares, it’s just not true that we couldn’t expand service,” Etel Haxhiaj, Zero-Fare Coalition member and Worcester city council candidate, told StreetsblogMASS. “They don’t need to be mutually exclusive.”
The WRTA's higher levels of transit ridership, relative to other peer cities, suggest that its fare-free policies may be especially helpful to frontline workers whose travel decisions are more sensitive to fare costs.
Historically, municipalities have used their share of fees on Uber and Lyft to finance local transportation improvements, including quick-build safety projects and small transit services. Under new legislation awaiting Governor Baker's signature, that funding could increase significantly.