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Free MTA bus service rolls out across New York City

MTA rolls out free bus service in pilot program
MTA rolls out free bus service in pilot program 02:05

NEW YORK -- Free MTA bus service rolled out Sunday in parts of the city.

There's one fare-free bus route in each borough as part of a pilot program to improve service.  

Buses participating are marked "fare free."  

The MTA says the program will serve around 43,000 riders.  

The sentiment among residents seems to be mostly positive thus far.  

"I think it's great because I use this bus a lot. It's easier for me to run errands on the east side," Sari Santiago, an MTA bus rider said. 

Encouraging more riders and easing the burden on low income commuters are a couple of driving forces behind this program, which was secured in the state budget.

"This might save us a lot of money, especially with the prices going up with the fares. I cut down on using buses and walked a little bit more, so this may definitely make a shift," Ryan Waldron, a Manhattan resident said.

The following bus routes are participating:

  • Bx18 A/B,
  • B60,
  • M116,
  • Q4 LCL/LTD, and
  • S46/96.

The pilot program is scheduled to last about six to 12 months.

Although some legislators advocate for expanding the free service to all bus routes, the MTA has reservations. "There's no room for losing a couple billion dollars in bus revenue," Janno Lieber, MTA CEO said.

The MTA is set to analyze the impact of these free rides. 

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