This U.S. City Will Make Bus Fare Free in Summer 2023

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KEY POINTS

  • Washington, D.C., plans to offer free bus rides to those who board a bus within the city beginning in July 2023.
  • This initiative could help residents reduce their monthly expenses.
  • You can save money on public transit by comparing options, taking advantage of discounted fares, and traveling at off-peak times.

Free bus rides could help you stretch your money further.

Whether you drive your car or use public transportation to get around, transit costs can add up quickly and likely make up a significant portion of your monthly budget. One U.S. city is planning to make bus rides free. This upcoming change will be a financial win for people who live and work in the city.

Bus fare will be free in D.C. beginning in July 2023

Washington, D.C., wants to boost public transit usage and make it more affordable. The city council recently voted unanimously to approve an initiative to make Metrobus rides free for riders who board within the city limits. While the bill is not yet signed into law, the plan is to make bus fares free beginning in July 2023.

What does that mean exactly? Any ride that begins in the city is free. Those who board at a bus stop within the D.C. city limits will not have to pay for their ride. That's true even for those commuting from D.C. to Maryland or Virginia. However, riders must pay the standard fare when boarding the bus outside the city limits.

This bill does more than make taking the bus less costly. It will also expand bus service by making select bus routes operate on a 24/7 basis, which could be a benefit for third-shift workers who need better access to public transportation.

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What this news means for residents and visitors

At $2 per ride, the savings potential for frequent bus riders could be significant. Whether you're currently living in D.C. or plan to visit in the future, this is likely welcome news. Reducing transportation costs may give you more wiggle room to adjust other parts of your budget so you can take care of other important financial needs and reach your goals sooner.

Four ways to save money on public transit costs

Do you rely on public transit to get around? You may be able to stretch your money further when paying for this necessary expense. Here are a few ways to save money on transit costs:

  1. Price out weekly and monthly passes: If you're a frequent transit user, investing in weekly or monthly transit costs may be more economical. While these passes require you to have money available upfront, the overall savings can be significant.
  2. Explore discounted fare opportunities: Transit costs can be more affordable for riders who qualify for discounted fares. Check to see if you're eligible for any discount programs in your city.
  3. Travel during non-peak hours: Some cities raise transit fares during peak travel times. You may be able to reduce your spending by traveling during off-peak hours.
  4. Compare alternate transit options: In some cities, fares vary depending on the transit method. For example, it may be cheaper to take the bus rather than ride the subway. Do the math to see if you can save money by using alternate transportation.

If you're in the D.C. area, this is news that you should know. You may want to take advantage of this initiative if you're looking for a way to reduce your monthly spending. With more money in your checking account, you can have less financial stress. Check out our personal finance resources if you're looking for more money management tips.

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