Proposal making Kansas City first major city with free public bus service moves forward

Proposal making Kansas City first major city with free public bus service moves forward
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Kansas City, Mo., is poised to become the first major city with free public bus service after the city council voted to include the funding request in the next fiscal year budget.

In a unanimous vote, the city council agreed to move forward on the "zero fare transit" proposal Thursday, according to local Scripps news source KSHB

"The City Council just took a monumental, unanimous step toward #ZeroFareTransit," Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas tweeted after the vote. Lucas has helped push the proposal forward.

"We want this city to be as efficient as possible,” Lucas previously told local ABC affiliate KMBC. “We want to make it a city where a pedestrian has an opportunity to get to where they need to go."

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KSHB reported that details of the proposal, including how it will be funded, still need to be worked out.

The free fares would reportedly only apply to Kansas City, Mo., and would not extend into the Kansas side of Kansas City.

Bus fares bring in $8 million to $9 million dollars a year in the Missouri city, according to KSHB. Currently, fares are $1.50 per ride or $50 for a monthly pass. Proponents of the proposal argued the city could recoup those costs elsewhere.

Critics argue against the cost and note that the city already provides free rides to many who may need them, including veterans and students.