The Streamline bus system in Bozeman started as a fare free system in 2006. Fare free system benefits both riders and non-riders because it leads to increased use of transit and less congestion, fewer parking problems, less air quality problems, and less carbon emissions. Furthermore, charging a fare would not improve the revenue stream.
Why are passengers forced to fork over handfuls of change every time they board a bus, or to pay escalating costs for transit passes? Other social goods, from schools to health care to the road system, are funded by the broader public through taxes, and daily use is free of charge. Why not the same for public transit, especially since charging for it tends to penalize the poorest in society, and encourage polluting behavior?Read More