Alexandria’s (VA) DASH is going fare-free

  • Date: 08/27/2021

The coronavirus pandemic hurt transit from the start, taking away riders and fare revenue that agencies depend on to keep buses and trains rolling. But it also shone a light on the importance of public transportation, which carried carless “essential” workers to shifts at grocery stores, takeout restaurants, clinics and fire stations while providing lifelines to seniors and low-income families.

Most agencies stopped collecting bus fares and required rear-door boarding to limit virus risks for bus operators. That extra money in the pockets of riders helped families stabilize their finances, while it often was spent in local businesses, transit advocates say.

Nationally, a movement to make public transportation fare-free has gained momentum. In the Washington region, Alexandria’s DASH system hopped onboard.

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