Washington, DC plans to eliminate its $2 bus fares in July. It is also considering a monthly subsidy for subway riders.
Kansas City, Missouri is the first major U.S. city to approve a fare-free public transit system. Boston, San Francisco, and Denver are now experimenting with zero fare systems. Zero-fare transit is widely advocated by environmental groups that want to get cars off the road and transit unions that want to allow bus drivers to be socially distanced from riders to protect their health.
The D.C. legislation also provides free bus service for Maryland and Virginia. And it will add a dozen 24-hour bus service lines. The program is affordable in part because Washington fares provide less than 10% of the transit budget.