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Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas wants free bus fare, riders mostly agree

Posted at 6:09 AM, Sep 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-13 07:09:13-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A proposal by Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas aims to get rid of city bus fares.

It's branded as "Zero Fare Transit."

Right now, trip on a city bus costs $1.50 per ride or $50 for a monthly pass.

City Councilman Eric Bunch said he supports the proposal.

"When we're talking about improving people's lives who are our most vulnerable citizens, I don't think there's any question that we need to find that money," Bunch said.

It's estimated that KCATA receives about $8 million to $9 million dollars a year from bus fares, and Bunch argues the city can find a way to recoup that cost.

"That's not a ton of money and it's money that we as a city, if we want to prioritize public transportation, it's something that we can find," Bunch said.

Many current bus riders like the idea.

"It would help me because sometimes I might be in a hurry and I don't have my bus fare," said bus rider Vanessa Lewis.

"I think it would make the bus system stronger, not weaker, and would probably bring in more revenue, not less," said bus rider Loren Miles.

However, others question the logistics of this proposal.

"If you take it away, then where are our taxes going to go? How high are the taxes? It's got to come from somewhere," said Teresa Bradshaw.

Since this is a priority for Mayor Lucas, it will likely get some time in front of the city council soon.