Candria Gray and her two children live in Worcester, Massachusetts, where they rely on city buses to get nearly everywhere: college classes, elementary school, the pediatrician’s office. By 2017, when the Worcester Regional Transit Authority raised fares from $1.50 per ride to $1.75, Gray was spending as much as $12 a day on transit — a good chunk of her budget as a single mom. And the increased fare was not accompanied by improved service. “It’s not just the cost, it’s the waiting,” Gray said. “Nothing is changing, so why are we paying more?” Some of her neighbors bought cars, she said, figuring that if transportation was going to be expensive, at least it could be reliable, too. Gray, however, doubled down on public transit, helping to form a coalition to fight for better, more affordable bus service in New England’s second-largest city. Now, they are on the cusp of a major victory. In January, after the Worcester Regional Research Bureau , a local think tank, proposed the idea, the city council declared its support for eliminating fares altogether. It’s a move that Gray and other local advocates believe will not only ease the financial burden on riders but […]


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