People Rally to Demand Free Bus Service to Continue

by Melinda Tuhus, WPKN News, Nov. 17,2022

A group of transit advocates rallied outside the headquarters of the CT Dept of Transportation in Newington on Wednesday [Nov. 16] waving their signs as a few buses drove past them.

The group was calling for an indefinite extension of fare-free buses as well as support for the mostly Black and brown bus drivers who have experienced more stress ever since the pandemic, and then had to deal with more riders on the free buses who sometimes needed mental health support themselves.

Tenaya Taylor, head of the Nonprofit Accountability Group and lead organizer of the event, explained why they came out. “So, you know, for us supporting fare-free transit will mean lifting some economic burdens on frontline communities because they’re saving money on the bus, and also cleaner air because it’s reducing emissions since more people are hopping on the bus and less people are driving their individual cars to get to work and school.”

Gov. Ned Lamont has indicated he will likely extend both the gas tax holiday and free transit for another few months, but these rallyers want “free fares forever,” as some of their signs indicated.

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