Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Reasons for fare-free public transit - It works.

Recently I met the people who run
Island Transit in Whidbey Island,
Wash., and rode their fare-free bus
system. It’s a serious operation with 56
buses and 101 vans. Ridership tops a
million a year. Its operating budget is
$8,392,677 – none of it from fares, all
from a 0.6 percent sales tax collected
in Island County.
Despite the pressure to conform,
the pressure to make users pay
and the pressure from conservative
politicians at all levels, Island Transit
has been fare-free from day one and
is proudly so 20 years later. Not one
Island Transit bus, shelter or van has
advertising on it. All of Island Transit’s
buses are bike rack equipped and
wheelchair accessible. For folks with
disabilities, Island Transit also offers
a paratransit service with door-to-door
service.

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