The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) found that eliminating or reducing fares for public transit users can improve access, increase ridership, and produce other community benefits, according to a new report.
The publication of the report aligns with transit systems weighing the advantages of zero and reduced fares. The report serves as policy guide for transit decision makers in Northern Virginia.
One of the key findings in the report was Northern Virginia’s transit environment. It provides both opportunities and challenges for new fare programs. The report also found that eliminating fares can grow ridership and reduced-fare program can result in a net cost increase.
The NVTC report showed full systemwide zero-fare options may reduce fare collection costs, but other expenses may increase.
"Northern Virginia’s extensive public transit network keeps our rapidly-growing region moving and economically competitive," said NVTC Chair Katie Cristol. "This deep examination of fare policies will offer a critical window into options for making that transit system even more accessible, effective and equitable for our riders and our communities."
According to the report, zero- and reduced-fare programs are currently underway in Virginia.
Transit operators in northern Virginia have expressed desire to consider eliminating or reducing fares for improved accessibility, increased ridership, and other community benefits.
NVTC provides a discussion forum for transportation issues and enables solutions across northern Virginia.