08/23/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/23/2019 12:04
(Washington, DC) - Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced increased ridership numbers for the District's #FairShot Free Rides Taxi-to-Rail (T2R) pilot program and the DC Circulator - two services that are providing free rides to residents. Since Mayor Bowser expanded the T2R program earlier this month to include two additional Metro stations as well as locations such as grocery stores, libraries, and recreation centers, daily ridership has increased by 700% to approximately 14 rides per day. Additionally, since Mayor Bowser made DC Circulator service free this February, the Circulator has provided 3,076,678 free rides, representing a 27% increase in ridership compared with the same period last year.
'It is clear that when we provide our residents with access to affordable and convenient transportation options, they use them,' said Mayor Bowser. 'We need the DC Council to recognize that these investments make a real difference in people's lives and help families access the services and amenities they need. I again urge the Council to take up and pass Councilmember Todd's bill to permanently eliminate fares on the DC Circulator and give more Washingtonians a fair shot.'
Mayor Bowser launched the T2R program in June to give more transportation options to residents in neighborhoods East of the Anacostia River by providing passengers with free taxicab rides of up to $10.
The Mayor provided $16.1 million in her Fiscal Year 2020 budget to make the zero-fare Circulator policy permanent, enhance Circulator's fleet, and expand the system's routes into Ward 7. However, the Council eliminated free Circulator rides for residents in the final budget. As a result, free rides will end after September 30, 2019. The DC Circulator Equity Act of 2019 introduced by Councilmember Brandon Todd would permanently keep those fares free.