Traveling around Kansas City, Missouri, is about to get a whole lot cheaper. Although the city’s light rail is already free, a new ordinance just approved by the city council would also make bus transportation free. The ordinance requires the city manager to include a funding request in the next fiscal year budget to make fixed-route public transportation free throughout the city. Before it goes into effect, the city manager must report on the financial impact free transit would have on existing city services, contracts, and programs, and must work to craft policies that guide transit priority on city streets to improve safety and efficiency.
The ordinance would make Kansas City the first major city in the US to introduce completely free transit. Other cities, like Columbia in South Carolina, are also considering the merits of such a policy.
The push toward free transit in many cities has been spurred by the growing idea that residents have a right to accessible, affordable mobility. Making it easier for people to travel to work, school, and everywhere else is always a good idea.