On first full day as mayor, Michelle Wu asks city council for $8 million to make three bus lines free for two years - The Boston Globe

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Eva Webster

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Nov 17, 2021, 4:12:19 PM11/17/21
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https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/11/17/metro/first-full-day-office-mayor-wu-asks-city-council-8-million-make-three-bus-lines-free-two-years/

 

On first full day as mayor, Michelle Wu asks city council for $8 million to make three bus lines free for two years

By Taylor Dolven Globe Staff,Updated November 17, 2021, 1 hour ago

42

 

Mayor Michelle Wu spoke with the media outside City Hall on Wednesday, her first full day as mayor of Boston.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

 

Mayor Michelle Wu, who spent years as a city councilor and mayoral candidate pressing for free public transit, on Wednesday asked the Boston City Council for $8 million in federal funds to eliminate fares on three MBTA bus lines for two years.

On her first full day in office, Wu said she wants the funds to be used to make the 23, 28, and 29 bus routes free for riders starting early next year, expanding a current fare-free pilot program on the 28 bus that expires at the end of December.

“Building on the fare-free 28 bus pilot created by Mayor Janey, we will expand access to transit across our neighborhoods, connecting more people to their schools, places of worship, small businesses, and community centers –– and easing congestion on our bus riders and drivers alike,” Wu said in a statement.

The three bus routes serve the neighborhoods of Mattapan, Dorchester, and Roxbury. The 23 bus runs from Ashmont to Ruggles, the 28 bus runs from Mattapan Square to Ruggles and the 29 bus runs from Mattapan Square to Jackson Square. All run on or intersect with Blue Hill Avenue, which the city has slated for center-running bus lanes.

The current pilot program on the 28 bus route funded by the city of Boston using federal COVID-19 relief money was meant to be three months long, starting on August 29. But former acting mayor Kim Janey extended it an additional month, eliminating fares through Dec. 31, after the pilot came in under its budget of $500,000.

The number of passengers has surged on the 28 bus since fares were eliminated. During the week of Oct. 25, the bus had 92 percent of its prepandemic weekday ridership, according to MBTA data analyzed by TransitMatters, a transportation advocacy group. That’s up from 68 percent during the last week of August.

The entire MBTA bus and subway system has 53 percent of prepandemic weekday ridership. That is, buses and subways in total still have just about half the weekday ridership they had before March, 2020.

Fare-free transit was a central issue in Wu’s campaign. Wu told voters then that she would create a wider fare-free bus pilot, beginning with the 28, 66, and 116 buses. The 66 and 116 buses run through several jurisdictions, likely requiring buy-in from other municipalities, whereas the 23 and 29 buses run only inside Boston’s boundaries.

A 2019 report from the transportation advocacy group LivableStreets found that more than 59 percent of riders on the 23, 28, and 29 buses were low income and more than 96 percent were people of color.


Taylor Dolven can be reached at taylor...@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @taydolven.

 

Andrew Fischer

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Nov 18, 2021, 9:24:44 AM11/18/21
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What a great idea!  That’s why over 60% of Boston voters voted for Mayor Wu.

Next will be the 66 bus through Brookline and Brighton!

Andrew M. Fischer

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On Nov 17, 2021, at 4:12 PM, Eva Webster <evawe...@comcast.net> wrote:


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tahir h

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Nov 18, 2021, 9:30:12 AM11/18/21
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So Boston will pay for Brookline and Cambridge riders?

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Eva Webster

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Nov 18, 2021, 2:19:43 PM11/18/21
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On 11/18/21, 12:52 PM, "Andrew Fischer" <cleveland-cir...@googlegroups.com on behalf of andrewm...@gmail.com> wrote:

 

What a great idea!  That’s why over 60% of Boston voters voted for Mayor Wu.

 

Next will be the 66 bus through Brookline and Brighton!

Andrew M. Fischer

 

Great idea? Teaching young people (because busy family people and older folks by and large are not using buses for fear of Covid, in some neighborhoods for fear of crime as well, and for other reasons) that somebody else should be paying for their everyday needs is a great idea?  Even as lots of jobs, including small part-time jobs, go begging and remain unfilled?  A T pass costs about 4 dollars a day.  What happened to the idea of young people having small jobs for pocket money?

 

The more you make it possible to subsist without work, the more some people are disinclined to work and otherwise achieve anything at all. And they sail through life until in their post-productive age the society has to take care of them 100%. 

 

So yeah – let’s be making everything free. This will lead to excellent work ethic and ensure a great economy, and our security as a nation.

 

If you make Boston a city of freebies, you can be darn sure our affordable housing advocates will have reasons to busily advocate (also, because it makes them feel good about themselves) for the rest of their lives!

 

Nothing will make Boston a bigger magnet for poor people from all over the world, and in endless need of cheap housing, than being able to get everything for free in Boston and much of the state.  Why stay in places where you have to work to pay for things?  Free transit, food assistance, healthcare, childcare, education, translators, public defenders when you’re in trouble with the law, safe hard drug injection sites, and of course free or subsidized housing – all those things you’ll be able to have as long as you head for Boston, Massachusetts.

 

So why work at all?  Why try to build your own future, society, country? It makes much more sense to head for places where fools give you things for free – and they don’t even ask you to learn their language!  You can then also tell them that they need to accommodate your cultural beliefs – not the other way round. Assimilation no longer required. And so with every passing day America is becoming a colossus on clay feet.

 

As Margaret Thatcher once famously said, “At some point, you run out of other people’s money”.  But all our dim-witted homegrown socialists think that successful/rich people should be brought down to their knees, and when you can’t soak them, the government can just endlessly print more money. Inflation, and what it does, is just some nebulous concept to be ignored.  The economic illiteracy is just frightening.  Nobody remembers painful history lessons.

 

All of you out there who think that giving others things for free makes you good human beings, you need to start putting your thinking hats on.  When you screw things up for all of us, there won’t be a do-over.

 

Eva

 

 

 

On 11/18/21, 12:52 PM, "Andrew Fischer" <cleveland-cir...@googlegroups.com on behalf of andrewm...@gmail.com> wrote:

 

What a great idea!  That’s why over 60% of Boston voters voted for Mayor Wu.

 

Next will be the 66 bus through Brookline and Brighton!

Andrew M. Fischer

 

Sent from my ipad



On Nov 17, 2021, at 4:12 PM, Eva Webster <evawe...@comcast.net> wrote:



https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/11/17/metro/first-full-day-office-mayor-wu-asks-city-council-8-million-make-three-bus-lines-free-two-years/

 

On first full day as mayor, Michelle Wu asks city council for $8 million to make three bus lines free for two years

By Taylor Dolven Globe Staff,Updated November 17, 2021, 1 hour ago

42

 

cid:image001.png@01D7DBCD.D9D23690

Mayor Michelle Wu spoke with the media outside City Hall on Wednesday, her first full day as mayor of Boston.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

 

Mayor Michelle Wu, who spent years as a city councilor and mayoral candidate pressing for free public transit, on Wednesday asked the Boston City Council for $8 million in federal funds to eliminate fares on three MBTA bus lines for two years.

On her first full day in office, Wu said she wants the funds to be used to make the 23, 28, and 29 bus routes free for riders starting early next year, expanding a current fare-free pilot program on the 28 bus that expires at the end of December.

“Building on the fare-free 28 bus pilot created by Mayor Janey, we will expand access to transit across our neighborhoods, connecting more people to their schools, places of worship, small businesses, and community centers –– and easing congestion on our bus riders and drivers alike,” Wu said in a statement.

The three bus routes serve the neighborhoods of Mattapan, Dorchester, and Roxbury. The 23 bus runs from Ashmont to Ruggles, the 28 bus runs from Mattapan Square to Ruggles and the 29 bus runs from Mattapan Square to Jackson Square. All run on or intersect with Blue Hill Avenue, which the city has slated for center-running bus lanes.

The current pilot program on the 28 bus route funded by the city of Boston using federal COVID-19 relief money was meant to be three months long, starting on August 29. But former acting mayor Kim Janey extended it an additional month, eliminating fares through Dec. 31, after the pilot came in under its budget of $500,000.

The number of passengers has surged on the 28 bus since fares were eliminated. During the week of Oct. 25, the bus had 92 percent of its prepandemic weekday ridership, according to MBTA data analyzed by TransitMatters, a transportation advocacy group. That’s up from 68 percent during the last week of August.

The entire MBTA bus and subway system has 53 percent of prepandemic weekday ridership. That is, buses and subways in total still have just about half the weekday ridership they had before March, 2020.

Fare-free transit was a central issue in Wu’s campaign. Wu told voters then that she would create a wider fare-free bus pilot, beginning with the 28, 66, and 116 buses. The 66 and 116 buses run through several jurisdictions, likely requiring buy-in from other municipalities, whereas the 23 and 29 buses run only inside Boston’s boundaries.

A 2019 report from the transportation advocacy group LivableStreets found that more than 59 percent of riders on the 23, 28, and 29 buses were low income and more than 96 percent were people of color.


Taylor Dolven can be reached at taylor...@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @taydolven.

 

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