The LRTA announced today that public bus and paratransit services will be free to riders throughout the month of December.
The “Try Transit Month” initiative, which runs from Thursday, Dec. 1 to Saturday, Dec. 31, is being funded by a grant in the state budget under the auspices of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. The program is designed to encourage new customers to try public transit by offering no-cost trips to shop or dine at local businesses, visit with friends and family, and commute to work during the holiday season.
The LRTA is one of the state’s 15 regional transit authorities awarded grant money to offer free trips for for all fixed route and ADA paratransit services. Earlier this year, the RTAs collaborated to submit a joint funding application and implementation plan to state leaders, which was approved.
“This represents a great accomplishment among all public transit officials to give Massachusetts residents an opportunity to experience the many services we provide. Hopefully, people will try us, like our services, and consider becoming regular riders and loyal supporters of local public transit,” said LRTA Administrator David Bradley.
Also, Bradley said “Try Transit Month” in December is a boon to current riders who will receive a financial reprieve during these times of rising costs and high inflation.
“The LRTA appreciates our loyal customers and coming at this time, during the holiday shopping season, a month of no-cost bus trips will help everyone’s bottom line. We hope local businesses can also benefit from increased ridership and some extra local spending,” said Bradley.
The “Try Transit” initiative should provide added value to another LRTA program: the agency’s annual implementation of Route 19 from the Kennedy Bus Center in Lowell to Pheasant Lane Mall in Tyngsboro. The bus line begins on “Black Friday”, Nov. 25 and Saturday, Nov. 26, and continues in December on five Saturday dates – Dec. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31. All December rides are free of charge.
Meredith Slesinger, Administrator at MassDOT Rail & Transit, praised the work of all transit officials to launch Try Transit month.
“MassDOT is pleased to have worked closely with the Commonwealth’s 15 Regional Transit Authorities to utilize the funding awarded in the FY23 budget for the “Try Transit” program,” she said. “This initiative is another example of the many efforts where MassDOT and the RTAs collaborate to improve mobility options for Massachusetts transit customers.”
Increased public transit ridership also lessens traffic congestion on local roads and highways and reduces energy consumption, said Slesinger. Other benefits include cleaner air, healthier environment and economic development, she said.