Government Issues

Does free public transportation boost voter turnout?

Posted on November 4, 2014


WASHINGTON, D.C. — With the perceived, indirect costs of voting frequently cited by political scientists as factors for low voter turnout, CityLab wonders if free rides on public transportation will help boost voter turnout on Tuesday.

According to data provided by urban transportation networks, free transit services appear to have a negligible influence on the number of voters that turnout to the polls. Houston Metro has provided free public transit during general elections since 1992. Ridership during voting periods, however, generally increases by a mere 1%. In fact, ridership on election day has been so indistinguishable that exploring and “extrapolating the results were not worthwhile,” a Metro official told CityLab. For the full story, click here.

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