Free Transit Rides on Election Day Proposed by L.A. City Councilman

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - One day after Mayor Eric Garcetti and several fellow members of the Metro Board of Directors proposed that the transit agency offer free rides on election day, a Los Angeles councilman said today that the city should consider doing the same on its transit lines.

Councilman Mike Bonin, who is chair of the Transportation Committee and also a member of the Metro Board of Directors, introduced a motion calling for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation to provide free rides on all DASH, Commuter Express, and Cityride services on Nov. 6, and to report on the feasibility of providing free transit service on every federal and statewide election day.

Bonin's motion notes that many other larger cities already offer free public transit rides on election days, including Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Tampa and Kansas City, as well as the state of Minnesota.

“It is time for the city of Los Angeles to join this trend. This is particularly important in light of the fact that the city's transit services currently provide critical mobility needs, particularly for low-income residents, students, and people of color that are all underrepresented in the voting booth,” the motion states.

Garcetti, along with Los Angeles County Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Mark Ridley-Thomas and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, introduced a motion on Thursday at the Metro Executive Management Committee meeting which would direct the county transit agency to lift fares for all riders on Nov. 6.

The motion will go to the Metro Board of Directors for consideration at its regular meeting on Oct. 25.

“A lack of transportation should never stand between a voter and the polls,” Garcetti said. “Every vote counts in this democracy, and we have to do everything we can to help Americans exercise our most fundamental right.”

Photo: Getty Images

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