On Sunday, September 24, the MTA's free bus fare pilot program goes into effect on five routes, one in each borough. The program will serve about 43 weekday passengers over six to 900 months, it said NBC New York.
MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber hailed the “innovation” and “creative thinking” of the pilot program. According to him, he does not think that passengers on other lines will stop paying fares. “They won't assume that one bus per neighborhood makes the entire system free, but we've taken steps to make sure no one gets confused,” Lieber noted.
New York City Public Advocate Jumaan Williams said the program would save a family of four “$6000 a year. That’s a lot of money for most families in this city.”
“The MTA is a vital part of New York City, and I am proud of the tremendous progress we have made in restoring ridership to pre-pandemic levels,” said Governor Kathy Hochul. “By creating these fare-free pilot routes, we are expanding access to public transit throughout the city and improving transit equity to better serve all New Yorkers.”
Program features and identification marks
As for the bus operators operating the route, the free rides, allowing hassle-free boarding, will also give them a break.
Route selection took into account factors such as ridership, fare evasion, adequacy of service, fairness to low-income and economically disadvantaged populations, and access to employment and commercial activities. Additionally, it is important to note that the pilot program does not provide free transfers to other buses or subway lines.
Buses on routes participating in the pilot program will be marked with Fare Free through green and black signs, digital signage on board buses, signs inside the bus and stickers on fare counters and OMNY readers.
The six to twelve month pilot program includes the following bus routes:
Bx18 A/B, operating daily during daylight hours between Undercliff Avenue or Sedgwick Avenue and Grand Concourse/E 170 Street, travels along Macombs Road, Tremont Avenue, Undercliff Avenue/Sedgwick Avenue, 168 Street and 170 Street. It serves the areas of Morris Heights, Highbridge and Mount Eden and connects with the 4, B and D trains as well as several other bus routes.
B60, which runs between Williams Avenue/Flatlands Avenue in Canarsie and Williamsburg Bridge Plaza. The route runs primarily along Rockaway Avenue and Wilson Avenue and serves the Canarsie, Brownsville, Ocean Hill, Bushwick and Williamsburg areas. It makes connections to trains 3, C, L, G, J, M, Z and bus routes.
M116, which runs between West 106 Street/Broadway and East 120 Street/Pleasant Avenue daily during daylight hours. The route travels primarily along 116th Street, Manhattan Avenue, and West 106 Street and serves the Harlem, East Harlem, and Morningside Heights neighborhoods. The route has connections to trains 1, 2, 3, 6, B and C and bus routes.
Q4 LCL/LTD, which runs between the Jamaica Ctr-Parsons/Archer subway station and Linden Boulevard/235 Street. Some buses operate in Limited-Stop mode during morning and afternoon rush hours on weekdays. The route runs primarily along Linden Boulevard, Merrick Boulevard and Archer Avenue and serves the areas of Jamaica Center, South Jamaica, St. Albans and Cambria Heights. At the station St. The Albans Long Island Rail Road connects to the E, J and Z trains, as well as several bus routes.
S46 / 96, which runs between South Avenue, West Shore Plaza and the St. Ferry Terminal. George. The local route S46 operates at all times, while the route S96 Limited operates only on weekdays during the peak period, in the peak direction. The route travels primarily along Castleton Avenue, Victory Boulevard, Walker Street/Brabant Street and South Avenue. It serves the St. George, Tompkinsville, West New Brighton, Port Richmond, Elm Park, Arlington, Bloomfield and Chelsea and connects to SIR and Staten Island Ferry.