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A metal circle with words on the edge that reads, in all caps, “Arlington Remembrance Trail - 11”. In the center reads, “Public transit becomes free to all, reducing traffic and emissions - October 1, 2027.” On the bottom left is a blacked out QR code.

October 1, 2027

Public transit becomes free to all, reducing traffic and emissions - October 1, 2027. 

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Free public transport, or zero-fare public transport, was seen as an important step to achieve climate mitigation by people all over the Greater Boston Area. Similar to many other places looking at switching to free public transportation, people became inspired, and protested to accomplish this critical change. 

It wasn’t easy to get policy makers to agree to budget increases necessary for a zero-fare initiative, but people cared enough to hit the streets and demand action. Protesting encourages people to speak up and work towards systemic change, no matter their position. Protesters successfully emphasized that this new way of managing public transport is more fair means of transportation that is accessible. Additionally, this shift was a necessity if the Greater Boston Area hoped to meet its carbon reduction targets. Having free buses and trains will increase the number of people who are able to use them and also encourage people to make a more sustainable choice when thinking about their means of transportation. Ultimately, obtaining free public transport reduces the amount of vehicles on the road, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

Bostonians were inspired by Olympia, Washington. After just a month of zero-fare public transport, there was a 20% increase of passengers, over 60,000 people. This article also emphasizes the amount of citizens' salaries dedicated to public transport fees, showing how a free of charge system would change many people's lives. In an example closer to home, Cambridge finds that lower income citizens are more likely to depend on public transport compared to middle or high income people. In a fight for climate justice and transit justice (as this article touches on) free public transport is essential in making our communities more equitable. This article also points out the numerous benefits of public transport. For example, one full capacity bus has the ability to take 36 cars off of the Greater Boston Area’s crowded streets, which would additionally reduce pollution. Not to mention that today's buses “release 98% less pollutants into the atmosphere than its 1980 equivalent.”(Vice Mayor Alanna Mallon)

 To work towards achieving this goal in 2027, this data, along with much more including some gathered from the 100 estimated cities that have zero-fare public transportation, would then be presented to committees all throughout the Greater Boston Area. Advocating and protesting for zero-fare public transport will assist the switch that our project envisions materializing on October 1, 2027. 

You can read more about Arlington’s own Sustainable Transportation Plan here {] and advocate for implementation with your town representatives. 

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