Support Us Button Widget

Free bus fare program expanded to 2026

The City of Boston will expand the free fare program creating an estimated savings of $6+ million for Bostonians.


Catch a ride for free on three bus routes.

Photo via MBTA

In more positive T-related news — the City of Boston is extending its fare free bus program on Routes 23, 28, and 29 until March 2026. The popular program was introduced early in Mayor Wu’s administration and was set to end later this month.

The plan is to use $350,000 per month in American Rescue Plan Act funding to reimburse the MBTA for the extension of the program. For those who haven’t caught a T bus ride in a while — the fare for a local one way trip is $1.70, or $0.85 with a reduced fare card.

These routes were selected for the program because of their diverse ridership + service in low-income areas. The city worked with Stantec to deliver some key findings:

  • 12+ million trips were taken on the free routes, creating an estimated savings of ~$6 million for riders.
  • Riders are saving on average ~$35 per month.
  • These three routes have some of the highest ridership throughout the City of Boston, serving schools, libraries, and Boston Housing Authority developments.

According to data from the MBTA, ridership for these routes are at an all-time high as of October 2023 compared to pre-pandemic levels:

  • Route 23 is at 94%
  • Route 28 is at 102%
  • Route 29 is at 64%

Fare free programs have been gaining momentum around the Bay State + nationally since the this pilot program launched in 2022.

More from BOStoday
From Monday, July 22 to Friday, July 26, 2024, we’re shining a spotlight on the vibrant drink scene in Boston; check out our map of local drink deals.
We’re highlighting the best kid-friendly activities that Boston has to offer — complete with museum experiences, animal encounters, and outdoor fun.
Explore Boston while having fun at these 15 summer series including concerts, movies, workout classes, and family fun.
Take a bite out of these seven unique dogs around the Greater Boston area ahead of the Fourth of July.
Think back on all the exciting things that happened in June. Now, take a shot at this crossword puzzle.
Break out the red, white, and blue and prepare to party in the USA Boston-style during the city’s Independence Day celebrations.
The festival will take place Saturday, June 29-Sunday, June 30.
We asked you to help us spice up our social media feeds — now we’re returning the favor by sharing some unique picks.
The new pop-up outdoor social space and roller skating rink Rollerama at Kendall Common is now open.
Our city’s disco party tradition returns this Thursday, June 27. Grab your roller skates and head to City Hall Plaza’s Donna Summer Disco Party.