Boston (February 6, 2023) - Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) released the following statement on the extension of Boston’s fare-free bus program by Mayor Michelle Wu: 

“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.”

Senator Markey and Congresswoman Pressley originally introduced the Freedom to Move Act, cosponsored by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), in June 2020. Following the bill’s introduction, Senator Markey, Congresswoman Pressley, 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 to support states and localities in enacting fare-free rides, strengthening transportation safety and quality, and closing the transit equity gap.