Mayor Wu said today she will ask the City Council to spend $8 million in incoming federal funds to eliminate fares on the 23, 28 and 29 bus lines over the next two years.
The 28 is already free to riders through the end of the year under a pilot launched earlier this year by acting Mayor Kim Janey.
According to the mayor's office:
While overall bus and subway ridership is at 53 percent of pre-pandemic weekday ridership, the free 28 bus saw ridership surge to 92% of pre-pandemic levels, making it the most popular in the system.
The 23 Bus line (Ashmont to Dorchester Center, Grove Hall & Ruggles) the 28 Bus line (Mattapan Square, up Blue Hill Ave, to Nubian Square & Ruggles) and the 29 Bus line (Mattapan Square, up Blue Hill Ave, to Jackson Square) each serves a diverse ridership, and each intersects with Blue Hill Ave, which has been identified by Livable Streets Alliance as one of the corridors that should be prioritized for improvements to increase reliability and boost ridership.
In tweets, Wu adds:
The two-year period will allow us to measure the benefits of this program, ensure every Boston resident hears about it & give riders the opportunity to integrate riding the bus into their day-to-day routines.
Most importantly, these findings will help us build regional & state-level momentum to fight for a fully fare-free public transportation system. More to come!