Research Scholar Eric Goldwyn was interviewed on WURD Radio’s “Reality Check” program “to discuss the future of mass transit systems during pandemic and how we fix/stabilize/strengthen them.” On free ridership, Goldwyn says:
The big concern is if you make it free you are not going to provide additional money to make it better. The big thing if you want to get people onto transit is not necessarily the cost of it, I mean that’s part of it of course, but it’s how reliable is it, how frequently does it come, how long am I waiting, does it actually get me to where I need to go? And, if making it free stops us from solving all of those other problems, then it’s not going to provide the boost that we’re hoping for. The thing we really need to focus on is we need to make transit reliable, safe, and frequent. And if we do that, then we can talk about making it free. There is a sequence that needs to be followed before we go to just making it free and stopping the discussion.