Let’s be ready for a zero fare weekends transit pilot
- March 25, 2021
- Posted by: Joe Milazzo II
- Category: Blog
The Regional Transportation Alliance, the voice of the regional business community on transportation in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina, is a strong advocate for enhanced multimodal mobility and the rapid, effective implementation of the Wake County Transit Plan.
RTA is requesting that the FY 2022 annual Wake Transit work program include a specific budgetary allocation of funds to support or backstop a potential “zero fare weekends” transit initiative.
Wake County has established a “Prosperity for All” framework, including leadership goals for health and economic mobility – and our innovative region has embraced equity as essential for our future.
We support a “zero fare weekends for everyone” pilot, which would reduce barriers to using and considering transit, while providing solidarity to and enhancing access for vulnerable communities.
Our neighbors in Chapel Hill have been zero fare for everyone, every day, for nearly two decades, and they, like others across the nation, have experienced ridership increases of 20-30%.
Our understanding is that weekends represent only around 20% of total weekly fare revenue, such that a year-long “zero fare weekends” pilot for both GoRaleigh and GoCary would require less than $1 million in hold harmless allocations.
While we support the launch of a zero fare weekends pilot, our request is simply that the work plan set aside a budgetary funding allocation to support a possible pilot later this year or in early 2022.
You can read the full letter RTA submitted in support of the budget allocation here; the ACLU has also spoken in favor of the zero fare pilot funding opportunity.
Success in this endeavor will help our region become a national leader in innovative approaches to advancing equity and economic mobility in our community.
Let’s get moving,
Joe Milazzo II, PE
Executive Director, Regional Transportation Alliance
RTA is the voice of the regional business community on transportation in the Research Triangle area.
RTA represents more than 100 leading businesses and 25 member chambers of commerce in central and eastern North Carolina.