Fare free bus service will continue in 2024

November 20, 2023

Lawrence Transit is pleased to announce that its Fare Free Pilot Program will be extended through 2024. Fares will be free for the 2024 calendar year for all services, including fixed route, T Lift, and Lawrence Transit On Demand, which operates in the evenings and Sundays starting January 7, 2024.

The Fare Free Pilot Program has had significant results for public transit ridership in Lawrence.

  • Year-to-date ridership in 2023 is 49% higher than 2022.
  • Ridership is 13% higher than before the pandemic.

Data indicates that the program is successfully improving City Strategic Plan progress indicators. People are riding more often and to new places, transit service is on time more often, and riders are spending money in the community that they used to spend on the bus, while also saving more money. The Fare Free Pilot Program is financially supported by increased federal transit funding. Data will be re-evaluated in Fall 2024 to determine the feasibility of extending the program.

Strategic Plan progress indicators impacted by the Fare Free Pilot Program include:

  • CC-2: Percent of residents satisfied or very satisfied with their transportation experiences.
  • CC-4: Percent of goals met for reliability of transit.
  • CC-9: Cost per fixed route passenger trip on Lawrence Transit.
  • CC-11: Percent of trips not taken in automobile (driven-alone).

“We expected to see a bump in ridership with fare free, but it has really exceeded expectations,” said Adam Weigel, Transit & Parking Manager. “Riders are telling us how much this means to them, and we’re excited that community members can explore 2024 route changes without paying a fare.”

Through the first nine months of 2023, use and costs have not risen on T Lift or On Demand service, which is critical to the ability to extend the fare free program through December 2024.

To view the full report, with more detailed explanations of the statistics, please click here.