Did you know that Ride On has been free since March 2020? We’ve successfully advocated for the emergency free fare program to be extended twice, and now the County Council is going to decide whether or not to make it permanent.
We believe Montgomery County can invest in the local economy and further racial equity and social justice by keeping fares in the pockets of those who need it most. The average income of a Ride On rider is $35,000 and we know that regionally nearly 80% of bus riders are people of color. Free fares overwhelmingly benefit vulnerable populations and the working class.
However, we know that free fares cannot come at the cost of service quality. Frequency and reliability need to be top priorities of the system, given that they are proven to provide the best rider experience and are most effective at increasing ridership. Together, free fares and service improvements would result in the most ridership, climate, congestion, equity, and economic development gains.
Ride On is already permanently free to kids, seniors, and people with disabilities. Let’s make it free for all riders! Tell the Montgomery County Council that you agree.