By Southwester Staff
In December, Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen earned unanimous support from City Council colleagues for his “Metro for DC” bill, which sets the stage for free access to Metrobuses departing from any location in the District beginning this summer.
“Today’s vote on this transformational bill shows the District is ready to be a national leader in the future of public transit,” Allen said in a press release. “We will balance making transit a public good with ensuring world-class service continues to return to our metro system. This bill has the support and excitement of District residents, District businesses, the union representing transit workers, and WMATA itself. That’s because it’s going to make a major difference in people’s lives almost immediately when buses become free as soon as July.”
The bill makes all WMATA buses operating in the District free to riders beginning in July 2023 and funds overnight service for 12 major bus lines.
According to statistics provided by the Council’s Office of the Budget Director and cited by Allen’s office, more than two thirds of bus riders are DC residents, compared with less than half of rail riders who board Metro trains in DC. The data shows bus riders are significantly more likely to be Black or Latino than rail riders, and 68% of DC residents who take the bus have household incomes below $50,000.