WHEREAS, the Governor of the State of Connecticut has suspended local fares on buses operated by CT Transit for three months in response to rising inflation and gasoline prices; and
WHEREAS, buses are an essential mode of transportation for Connecticut’s poorest residents, many of whom reside in the city of Hartford; and
WHEREAS, Hartford has the highest percentage of households without a car of any large city in Connecticut and the tenth highest in the nation; and
WHEREAS, Hartford bus routes have the highest ridership of any city in the CT Transit system, with approximately 1.4 million rides a month prior to the pandemic; and
WHEREAS, research has shown that pay-per-use fees for transportation, such as bus fares and highway tolls, are regressive taxes that disproportionately affect the poorest residents; and
WHEREAS, the estimated cost of making bus travel free for three months is $8.1 million, a small fraction of what the Connecticut Department of Transportation routinely spends to rebuild a single highway on-ramp; and
WHEREAS, a study of the impact of making bus travel free in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2020 found that ridership increased, overall regional greenhouse gas emissions decreased, jobs were created, and economic output for the region was increased as a direct result of the elimination of fares; now therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Court of Common Council of the City of Hartford calls on the Governor and the Legislature of the State of Connecticut to make the elimination of local bus fares permanent for Connecticut residents.