One theme was the investment of millions of dollars into important solutions.
Eliminating transit fares can increase transit ridership, which is an important long-term strategy to reduce air pollution. A recent “Free Fare February” pilot undertaken by the Utah Transit Authority saw ridership increase 17% during weekdays, 58% on Saturdays and 33% on Sundays during the course of the program.
A month of fare-free transit is not enough to solve our ozone problems but eliminating fares will recruit a lot more people to ride transit and build momentum for the bigger investments we need to significantly increase and improve transit service.
SB22-180 also invested $30 million in Colorado’s statewide bus system, Bustang. Launched in 2015, Bustang’s ridership significantly grew from 102,503 annual riders in its first year to 238,302 annual riders in its fourth year.