There are ways to provide transportation to residents who cannot afford bus tickets
The current pressure to eliminate WRTA bus fares threatens the goal of a vibrant and efficient public transport system that serves the entire city.
There are ways to provide necessary transportation for residents of Worcester who cannot afford bus tickets. In the grocery store, you don’t know who pays with an EBT card or with a debit or credit card.
It is true that the tariff collection system must be replaced. The cash registers are often broken down. On a hot and humid day, you can count on free driving. In addition, the current cash collection system makes it difficult to stick to a schedule. A rate card system could work if there were outlets throughout the city. We do this with yellow garbage bags and postage stamps.
Taking the bus is branded in Worcester. Undervaluing public transport by making all trips free will only increase the perception that only the poor take the bus, that the system exists only to serve those who cannot afford the price.
The city cannot afford to do that. A vibrant city needs a viable and efficient transport system. We cannot have a beautiful pedestrianized city if every business needs parking.
It may be safe to extend a period of free bus rides as we move to a citywide system with schedules that get people where they need to be when they need to be there. Then cyclists from all parts of the city can help pay the cost.