L.A. could be the first large transport system to go fare-free, and Garcetti is onboard with the idea.
Today, Metro announced that an internal task force will be working on a proposal to eliminate bus and rail fares for all riders, according to a press release. This new effort is being referred to as the Fareless System Initiative (FSI or OPERATION FSI) and is set to be delivered to the Metro Board of Directors by the end of 2020.
A new Metro exploratory task force will begin working Sept. 1 on a proposal to eliminate fares for all riders on Metro buses and trains. The task force will deliver a plan for consideration by the end of 2020. https://t.co/lr9vhzwWzr pic.twitter.com/rwokpKogpy
— LA Metro (@metrolosangeles) August 27, 2020
If this were to go ahead, it would make the first large transit system to go fare-free and is possibly one of the biggest initiatives the L.A. Metro has taken on. Metro CEO Phil Washington, said that the aim is to promote mobility and give aid economic development as the county begins it’s pandemic recovery. This would provide workers that need it most with essential support while simultaneously promoting ridership that has seen a dramatic drop.
“LA Metro has a moral obligation to pursue a fareless system and help our region recover from both a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic and the devastating affects of the lack of affordability in the region,”said Washington.
On a broader level, this could woo more drivers over to public transport which vastly reduces congestion and, in turn, improve air quality.
The task force will be investigating a number of factors, including funding opportunities, the impact on homelessness, the rider experience and “how fareless transit will mitigate and/or eliminate allegations of targeting people of color for fare enforcement,” according to the statement.
On Thursday, Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted his support for the project stating, “This is an important step toward a more equitable and sustainable future.”
I support fare-free public transit in Los Angeles, and in my role as Metro Board Chair, I’m working with @MetroLosAngeles CEO and team to bring that vision to fruition in 2021. This is an important step toward a more equitable and sustainable future. https://t.co/L5HRAKBgzO
— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) August 27, 2020
At this rate, 2021 is shaping up to be a great year already.
Featured Image: Metro Los Angeles