We are so close to winning the Fareless System Initiative pilot program to provide student transit passes for all K-12 and community college students in LA County—any line, any time, bus and rail, Metro and municipal operators—that we can't slow down now!
But next we must work toward ensuring a fareless system for all low-income residents as well, and then . . . a fareless system for all!
The Metro Board votes THIS THURSDAY whether to move forward with the Fareless System Initiative pilot, which will cost only $3 per K-12 student and $7 per community college student per year! The board meeting starts at 10 a.m. and the Fareless System Initiative is third on the agenda. You can:
- Make a live public comment—1 minute is the max—by telephone. Dial: 888-251-2949 and enter English Access Code: 8231160# or Spanish Access Code: 4544724#. To give public comment enter #2 when prompted. (The live video feed lags about 30 seconds behind the actual meeting, but there is no lag on the public comment dial-in line.) You may want to bring a textbook in case the first two items—on the I-710 freeway widening project—delay discussion of the Fareless System Initiative.
- Or email your comments to the [email protected] Written public comments must be received by 5PM the day before the meeting. Please include both Item #35 and your position—“FOR,” “AGAINST,” "GENERAL COMMENT," or "ITEM NEEDS MORE CONSIDERATION"—in your comment.
- Or you can send your comments by USPS but they should go in the mail today as they need to reach Metro by 5 p.m. tomorrow. Mail to: Board Administration, One Gateway Plaza, MS: 99-3-1, Los Angeles, CA 90012
But will this ever become a Fareless System Initiative for all riders, as former Metro CEO Phil Washington proposed? Will Phase 2, to provide fareless transit for all low-income riders, which was to have begun on Jan. 1, be enacted any time soon? Read more on Streetsblog LA's informative post here, and there's more info on the Phase 1 pilot on our website here.
We intend to work with Metro, the California Legislature and the federal government to help Metro find the resources the agency will need to fund the entire program and become completely fareless. It's important to remember that the very real hurdle is that replacement funding for fares must be found to continue to operate Metro's bus and rail system—but the upside is profound.
Some advocates are critical of the scaled-back version of Metro's FSI—especially since fares have been free for everyone since the COVID pandemic took hold. But this is the beginning of a program that we have been advocating for over the past decade, and it can only help reduce traffic, GHG emissions and smog, enable LA County's workforce and students get around more easily, and make streets safer for bicyclists and pedestrians!