Lawrence buses will continue to be free in 2024

photo by: City of Lawrence

Riders board a city bus in Lawrence in this undated photo submitted by the City Lawrence.

Lawrence Transit’s Fare Free Pilot Program will be extended through 2024, according to a news release Tuesday from the City of Lawrence, which touted the program’s success.

Fares will be free next year for all services, including fixed route, T Lift and Lawrence Transit On Demand, which operates in the evenings and Sundays starting Jan. 7, 2024.

The fare-free program has had significant results for public transit ridership in Lawrence, the release said: Year-to-date ridership in 2023 is 49% higher than 2022, and ridership is 13% higher than before the COVID pandemic.

With the free program, in place for all of 2023, several improvements are evident, according to the release: “People are riding more often and to new places, transit service is on time more often, and riders are spending money in the community that they used to spend on the bus, while also saving more money.”

The free bus program is financially supported by increased federal transit funding. Data will be re-evaluated next fall to determine the feasibility of extending the program.

“We expected to see a bump in ridership with fare free, but it has really exceeded expectations,” said Adam Weigel, transit and parking manager.


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