Jun 23, 2022 - News

MBTA fare discounts, fare-free buses gain support, poll says

Data: MassInc; Chart: Axios Visuals

A survey released Thursday shows increasing support for low-income fare discounts and fare-free transit in Massachusetts.

  • The Barr Foundation funded the MassInc Polling Group's survey, which surveyed 1,002 Bay State residents June 8-12.
  • Support for low-income fare discounts reached 84%, compared to 79% in a December 2021 poll, though MassInc notes that the two polls' questions were worded differently.
  • 78% of respondents support fare-free buses. The December poll didn't include a similar question.
  • When asked to pick their preferences, about 43% of respondents said they favor both.

Why it matters: The MBTA is studying these options in Boston — most notably fare-free buses for routes 23, 28 and 29 under a pilot program that runs through Feb. 29, 2024.

Meanwhile, regional transit authorities in other parts of the state have run fare-free buses during the pandemic.

  • Mayor Michelle Wu and other advocates say that fare-free transit and low-income fares make public transportation more accessible in the Boston area.
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