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February 7, 2024

Pressley, Markey Applaud Extension of Boston Fare-Free Bus Program

Pressley & Markey Have Bill to Make Fare Transit a Reality Nationwide

WASHINGTON — Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) released the following statement applauding Boston Mayor Michelle Wu’s extension of the fare free bus program on Routes 23, 28, and 29 until March 2026. Rep. Pressley and Senator Ed Markey have championed fare-free transit efforts in Congress and last year unveiled the Freedom to Move Act, their bold legislation support state and local efforts to establish public transportation as a public good through fare-free services.

“We applaud Mayor Wu for continuing her groundbreaking pilot in fare-free buses. Public transit should be a public good—it must be made accessible and affordable so that everyone, including Black, Brown, and low-income riders who disproportionately use public transit, can get to work, school, the grocery store, and access other critical services without worrying about the cost. Mayor Wu’s fare-free bus program has increased ridership and saved riders money, all without increasing travel times. Fare-free transit works, it is a racial, economic, and climate justice issue, and we can make it a reality across our public transit systems nationwide. That’s why we authored the Freedom to Move Act, which would provide federal funding to support state and local efforts to establish fare-free service. Together, we can put fares in the rearview mirror and make public transportation safe, reliable, accessible, and free for all. We’re proud that Boston is leading the way.”

Congresswoman Pressley and Senator Markey originally introduced the Freedom to Move Act, cosponsored by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.),in June 2020. Following the bill’s introduction, Congresswoman Pressley, Senator Markey, and then-Councilor Wu published an op-ed that discussed the bill and the need to fund public transportation as a public good. In July 2020, the House of Representatives passed the Moving Forward Act that included a fare-free pilot program modeled after the two lawmakers’ Freedom to Move Act. In April 2023, Senator Markey and Congresswoman Pressley reintroduced the Freedom to Move Act tosupport states and localities in enacting fare-free rides, strengthening transportation safety and quality, and closing the transit equity gap.