Kansas City Makes Public Transportation Free, Becomes The First Major City In The U.S. To Make This Progressive Change


Kansas City, Missouri has become the first major city in the country to make their public transportation fare – free. After the city council had a unanimous vote supporting the “Zero Fare Transit” proposal, they made all city bus route fare-free while the city manager is in charge of developing and implementing this wonderful change. Kansas’ streetcar has also been fare-free since its opening. 

According to WDAF, the free bus service cost the city about $8 billion and will do away with the previous $1.50 cost per ticket, as well as the unlimited monthly pass of $50. Local government officials does not this see this move as “wasteful expenditures” or a “burden to the taxpayers,” but rather a good investment to the city and its residents. 

Eric Bunch, city councilman framed this plan mainly for the benefit of the city’s low-income residents who rely fully on public transportation for their daily commute to work. 


“When we’re talking about improving people’s lives who are our most vulnerable citizens, I don’t think there’s any question that we need to find that money.

That’s not a ton of money and it’s money that we as a city, if we want to prioritize public transportation, it’s something that we can find,” said Bunch to KSHB.

Kansas mayor Quinton Lucas also fully supports the plan which is being received very warmly by the residents. Fellow bus rider Loren Miles said: “I think it would make the bus system stronger, not weaker, and would probably bring in more revenue, not less.”

Others have criticized the decision as an added expense to the tax payers. Teresa Bradshow, fellow resident questioned this plan, saying: “If you take it away, then where are our taxes going to go? How high are the taxes? It’s got to come from somewhere.”

Source: https://themindunleashed.com

The Kansas City Star editorial board, who is in full support of the new measure argued that the budgets can be easily found somewhere else. In their editorial published last month, they wrote: 

“A good first step would be to stop giving away tax revenue to developers. Other efficiencies, including elimination of fare boxes on buses, could help. So could reclaiming sales tax dollars now subsidizing the streetcar.”

Supporters have also given their two cents regarding the decision, stating that this move will provide an endless string of benefits, one of which is the strengthening of their local economy, as well as the reduction on the environmental impact of private transportation. 

Climate change supporters and sustainable city advocates all over the world have been demanding an increase in public transportation investment with the rising awareness of climate change. Having free public transportation has been gaining popularity within the lower income residents in cities like Denver and Salt Lake City, where these progressive ideas have been brought up in recent local elections. 

Meanwhile, there are are still other cities across the U.S. like Portland, Oregon and New York City are still spending their taxes on installing security cameras and hiring more police in order to criminalize those residents that evade paying for their rather expensive transit fares. 


What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!

True Activist / Report a typo

Popular on True Activist