Montgomery County Councilman Evan Glass recently made a case for retaining the county’s fare-free bus service.
Last Friday, in an op-ed in The Washington Post, Montgomery County Councilman Evan Glass made a case for keeping the county’s bus service fare-free for the foreseeable future. Glass highlighted that even though the Metro system is struggling with ridership numbers, the county’s bus system is thriving. He points to the bus network playing an integral part in the pandemic recovery.
According to Glass, keeping fairs low will primarily benefit low-income county residents. The average salary of a Ride On rider is $35,000; compare that to the county’s average salary of $108,000. Many riders are either students, people commuting between jobs, or the elderly. By eliminating fares, riders could save more than $1,200 per year.
Buses are a lifeline for tens of thousands of our residents, especially low-income and immigrant communities. If you step into one of Montgomery County’s Ride On buses, you’ll see a grandmother holding her grandchild’s hand, students listening to podcasts on their way to Montgomery College and struggling workers getting to their second jobs.
The Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation predicts that retaining a fare-free model could increase ridership by 15%, reducing vehicle miles traveled by 7 million miles annually and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Infrastructure has been a hot topic recently. Congress recently passed a federal infrastructure bill, and MACo has made addressing Highway User Revenue a top issue. At the MACo Winter Conference session, “Go Big: Infrastructure Funding at a Crossroads,” an expert panel will discuss infrastructure funding, challenges, and opportunities impacting local governments.
The 2021 MACo Winter Conference, “Time to Reboot: Tomorrow’s Tech Today,” will be held on December 8-10, 2021, at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland.
Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference: