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Wednesday, February 09, 2022

23,28,29號等3 巴士線 3月1日起 2年免費

             (Boston Orange 編譯) 波士頓市長吳弭 (Michelle Wu) (9) 日一早在藍丘大道 (Bluehill Ave.) Grove Hall宣佈,波士頓市的232829號等3條巴士線,在800萬元經費支持下,從31日起,民眾將可免費搭乘2年。

                   吳弭和波士頓市街道長Jascha Franklin-HodgeMBTA總經理Steve Poftak,以及數名地方商家,非牟利組織代表一起,在記者面前宣佈這一喜訊後,還在當地巡訪商家,廣告週知這喜訊。

               吳弭感謝聯邦參議員Ed Markey,聯邦眾議員Ayanna Pressley等聯邦及州、市議員,以及MBTA的協助,爭取經費,使得波士頓市可以像剛辦完2年的免費搭乘巴士試驗,正延長這做法的Lawrence市一樣,也把免費搭乘巴士的試驗作法延長2年。她希望這只是個開頭,在證明免費搭乘巴士做法可行後,將來可提供更多免費公共交通工具,真正的服務民眾,促進地方經濟。

              社區及環境替代方案(ACE)的交通導向的發展主任Mela Bush Miles表示,二月是交通公平月。過去的7年多以來,作為交通支持者,他們一直在研議免費交通的願景現在是願景實現的時候。3條巴士線免費只是個開始,但卻讓人十分興奮。公共交通工具應該要免費讓所有人使用,而且也應該經由和其他公共服務一樣的方式獲得資金。更綠化,清潔,快速並可負擔的巴士服務,對不論是否搭乘公共交通工具的人來說,都是好事。讓T (交通)免費

          23號巴士線 (Ashmont 到 多徹斯特中心,Grove HallRuggles)28號巴士線 (麥特潘廣場,上藍丘大道到Nubian廣場及Ruggles),還有29號巴士線 (麥特潘廣場,上藍丘大道到Jackson 廣場)的這3條巴士線,都經過藍丘大道,乘客都非常多元,是連接在現有交通網路中獲得服務不足乘客的重要迴廊。宜居街道聯盟 (Livable Streets Alliance)也把藍丘大道這區域列為應該優先改善,增加服務可信賴度,提高搭乘率的地區。波士頓市政府為因應這情況,正著手制定藍丘大道重新設計計畫。

           3條巴士線有著全波士頓市最高的搭乘率。繞經麥迪遜公園科技職業高中,波士頓公共圖書館Grove Hall分館,以及許多個崇拜地點的23號巴士線的每月搭車人次超過10萬人。這條巴士線還和哥倫布大道,這新英格蘭第一條巴士線在路中央的道路交界,展現了結合免費交通和現代交通基礎結構,以減少地方空氣汙染,紓緩擁塞,加快服務速度的潛力。

          28號巴士線從20218月開始可免費搭乘後,搭乘量提高到每天有12000多人次,比新冠病毒大流行之前的90%還多,也使這條巴士線成為地鐵交通系統中最受歡迎路線。

             3條巴士線可以免費搭乘後,民眾可從所有的車門上下車,將紓緩巴士的擁擠程度,並加快服務速度。乘客轉車時,搭乘其他的MBTA路線車輛時,仍需付車費。

           為推出這免費巴士服務,波士頓市政府和MBTA一直在定期開會,研討細節。波士頓市政府表示,800萬元經費將來自美國援救法案 (ARPA)的撥款。麻州及美國各地,已有許多地方推出免車費服務,有些城市繼波士頓之後,也在研議如何為居民提供免費服務。

                查詢詳情,可上網,www.boston.gov/free-bus 

 

MAYOR WU ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF TWO-YEAR, FARE-FREE PROGRAM FOR MBTA BUS ROUTES 23, 28 AND 29 ON MARCH 1, 2022

 

BOSTON - Wednesday, February 9, 2022 - Mayor Michelle Wu today announced that the City of Boston is launching the two-year fare-free program on MBTA bus Routes 23, 28, and 29 on March 1, 2022. This program extends the highly successful fare-free Route 28 pilot program and eliminates fares on two other crucial bus routes. Fare-free buses enable all-door boarding, which eases congestion and speeds up bus service. Riders will still have to pay for transfers to other MBTA routes and services. The Mayor made the announcement at Grove Hall and visited neighborhood businesses to share information about the new program with Chief of Streets Jascha Franklin-Hodge and MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak.

“Expanding fare-free transit to Routes 23, 28, 29 will better connect our communities, increase ridership, and ease congestion for all our residents,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “As we work to ensure every resident knows about the program, we hope this is just the beginning of access to fare-free public transit in Boston. I'm thrilled to partner with the MBTA to expand this successful ongoing program and look forward to working with our partners across the Commonwealth to build a sustainable, reliable, accessible, and affordable transportation system that truly serves our residents and our local economy.”  

"Today's announcement is really exciting,” said Chief of Streets Jascha Franklin-Hodge. “We plan to use these two years to learn how making transit free can affect peoples’ travel decisions, improve the performance of the bus itself, and bring additional benefits to riders and the communities along these routes.”

“We were pleased to collaborate with the City on the Route 28 pilot and now to expand the program to include these additional routes for the next two years,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “The benefits experienced by customers on the 28 are being expanded to a broader group of riders, and we appreciate the City of Boston’s willingness to make this happen by providing funding.”

"February is Transit Equity Month in Boston.  For the past 7+ years, we as transit advocates have been developing a vision of fare free transit,” said Mela Bush Miles, Director of Transit Oriented Development at Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE). “This is a vision whose time has come. Three free bus routes is just the beginning, we are so excited about this pilot. Public transportation needs to be free for all and should be funded in the same way as other public services. Greener, cleaner, faster and affordable buses is a win for everybody whether they use public transit or not. Free the T!" 

"Fare-free bus service has been successful across the Commonwealth and in the City of Boston, helping to ease financial burdens, increase bus ridership, and speed up bus service,” said Stacy Thompson, Executive Director of LivableStreets Alliance. “This expansion will create further momentum toward our shared goal of providing fare-free bus service across the MBTA.”

The 23 Bus route (Ashmont to Dorchester Center, Grove Hall & Ruggles), the 28 Bus route (Mattapan Square, up Blue Hill Ave. to Nubian Square & Ruggles) and the 29 Bus route (Mattapan Square, up Blue Hill Ave. to Jackson Square) each serve a diverse ridership, and all three travel through and along Blue Hill Avenue, an important corridor connecting riders who are underserved by the existing transit network. Blue Hill Avenue has been identified by Livable Streets Alliance as one of the corridors that should be prioritized for improvements to increase reliability and boost ridership, which the City is working to address through the Blue Hill Ave Redesign Plan.

These three routes are some of the routes with the highest ridership throughout the City of Boston. Route 23 serves over 100,000 monthly riders, runs past Madison Park Technical Vocational High School, the Grove Hall Branch of the Boston Public Library and various places of worship. The route also intersects with Columbus Avenue, home to the first center-running bus lane in New England, demonstrating the potential to combine fare-free transit with modern transit infrastructure to reduce local air pollution, ease congestion and speed up service. After fares were eliminated in August 2021, Route 28 saw ridership increase to over 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels with over 12,000 riders every day, making it the most popular route in the system. Route 29 intersects with Route 28 and runs past Egleston Square Branch of the Boston Public Library, and several Boston Housing Authority developments, including the Franklin Field Apartments and the Doris Bunté Apartments. 

“The fare-free 28 bus has been a blessing to myself and my community,” said Peggy James, MBTA 28 bus rider and Boston resident. “All of my daily activities, including going grocery shopping, heading to the laundry, and picking up my medicine, have been made easier due to this program. Since the fare-free program was implemented, my commutes have been a lot more enjoyable, with less hiccups and stalling at bus stops along the route.”

“It’s a huge convenience to know that I don’t have to worry about some of the financial burden that this pandemic has brought,” said Brittany Appleberry, MBTA 28 bus rider and Boston resident. “It feels good to know that I am able to ride for free and continue to get the same service. I would like to thank Mayor Wu and everyone who had a part in this pilot.”

The Boston Transportation Department has been working with the MBTA to manage the 28 bus pilot program that was first launched in August last year, including partnering on a comprehensive evaluation of the Route 28 bus pilot. The evaluation includes analysis of ridership and service reliability data as well as interviews with bus riders to get their views on the benefits of the pilot. The analysis suggests that by enabling all-door boarding, fare-free service reduced dwell time – the amount of time the bus stopped to allow passengers to board – decreased by more than 20 percent. A full evaluation of the Route 28 Bus pilot program will be available later this month at boston.gov

The City of Boston and MBTA have been meeting regularly and partnering to work out specifics of the program and deliver the benefits of fare-free service to riders. The program will be funded through the $8 million ARPA allocation. Cities across the Commonwealth and the United States are already delivering the benefits of fare-free service to riders and some cities are following Boston’s lead and working out how to deliver the benefits of fare-free service to their residents.

The expansion of this program will provide the City of Boston, MBTA and other transit partners the opportunity to measure the benefits of fare-free bus service, such as increased ridership, faster buses, less traffic, and business development, over a longer period of time. The duration of the program will also allow the City to make sure every resident knows about the fare-free service and provides an opportunity for residents to integrate riding the bus into their day-to-day routines.

The two-year expanded fare free program for the 23, 28, and 29 MBTA bus routes builds on Mayor Wu's work to make public transit a public good, starting with bus service. In December, the Boston City Council voted to approve Mayor Wu’s appropriation order for $8 million in federal funds to eliminate fares on the 23, 28 and 29 MBTA bus routes for a two-year period. The City of Boston, in partnership with the MBTA, extended the free Route 28 bus through January and February using the funds from the $8 million allocation from ARPA.

For more information on the fare-free bus program, visit www.boston.gov/free-bus 

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