LOS ANGELES, California — L.A. Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials will offer free rides on buses and rail system for voters on Election Day of Nov. 6.
On that particular day, rides on Metro’s six rail lines and 2,200 buses will be free from 12:01 AM. to 11:59 PM. The $1.75 fare is eliminated for a day that will cost the agency an estimated $600,000.
Los Angeles County’s voter’s turnout rate was 31% throughout the midterm election process, 4 years ago. It was the lowest in California, prompting concern from a lot of state officials.
Voters will have fewer impediments with free rides.
According to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, one of the authors of the motion, they know there are so many impediments to folks voting. And according to Metro’s Thursday meeting, they know how critical the process of voting is. They also know that the election day is important.
A survey done by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology with 10,200 voters in the 500 states and Washington D.C. found the access to transportation was one reason that 31% of registered didn’t attend the polls 3 years ago. The figure was much higher in California it was at 51%.
Changing the one-way fares for a day won’t eliminate all of Metro’s income. After all, some riders have unlimited monthly passes or more of them can be seniors, students and the disabled.
The free policy will bring L.A. into step with other major U.S. metro areas, including Houston, Dallas, Kansas City, and Minneapolis. Not this year but in the next year, officials will discuss whether it should be permanent.
The policy will not include those municipal carriers that have their own fixed fares and carry people for smaller routes. However, the similar policy is considered to be set for DASH buses in L.A.