American cities are experimenting with free public transit

  • Date: 08/17/2021

Detroit is one of the latest US cities to offer some public transit service free of fares. Transit systems around the country are recovering from a huge drop in ridership during the pandemic. By April 2020, transit rides had fallen by nearly 80% compared to the previous year. Even now, ridership is only up to about half of 2019 levels. To get people into transit (and out of cars), American cities are exploring eliminating fares, a practice that’s already taken hold in Europe. But Detroit’s short-term fare policy highlights the challenges facing American cities built around cars. Enticing residents out of their vehicles is less about price, and more about redesigning public transit systems that get people where they need to go.

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