Metro looking at late Summer Launching For fareless transit pilot program
By Toi Creel
K-12 students and low-income residents could soon be riding LA Metro trains and buses for free.
In a written article released by the public transportation company’s outlet The Source, Metro announced its fareless transit pilot program could launch as early as August. This new projected date is a year earlier than anticipated according to previous reports from the Metro Board of Directors. One reason for the change: an increase in travel. According to The Source, recent data has shown riders have been increasing their traveling time. The expectation is that bus service will return to pre-pandemic frequencies by September, right around the start of a new school year where many will travel to their institutions.
Metro also mentioned two other reasons for the quickening timeline: saving low income students and parents money and time and finding additional funding to continue the fareless pilot program.
There is another part of the pilot-expanding fare-free bus and rail service to riders considered low income, making less than $39,450 per year. That portion of the pilot would launch around the original projected timeline January 2022.
As of now under the original plan’s timeline, the pilot program would last from January 2022 to June 30 2023. Currently the cost of a Metro monthly pass is $24 for K-12 students. The two groups- low income and K-12 students- make up more than 1336,000 people.
While the Board of directors is only considering moving up the timeline, no official decision has been made. Metro Directors would have to vote on the launch date of the pilot program, which is scheduled for their next round of Board meetings in May.