UPDATE: The FARE Act
July 30, 2021:
On Wednesday, July 28th, we offered testimony to the state's Joint Committee on Transportation in support of the FARE Act (H3547 and S2261), which would make key forms of public transit fare free on election day. We discussed how important it is that the state pass policies like the FARE Act to ensure that our most underserved voters, specifically Black and brown, low income, and immigrant voters, are able to have their voices heard.
But we were not alone.
Alongside MassVOTE, legislators and advocates spoke in support of the policy. Representative Chynah Tyler of Boston and Representative Frank Moran of Lawrence both discussed how their own community members face burdensome barriers to the polls that the FARE Act will help address. Additionally, Melissa Kraus of ADL New England explained how fare-free public transit on election day has already proven an immense success in numerous communities across the country, such as San Diego, Dallas, Kansas City, and Los Angeles County. Finally, Nancy Brumback of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts stressed that the FARE Act would benefit not only large, urban populations, but smaller, more rural ones too, as it would apply to the MBTA and each of the state's 15 regional transit authorities.
Together, we made our case: at a time when voting rights are under attack nationwide, Massachusetts must stand strong, making our elections as accessible and inclusive as possible. While states like Georgia strip their own residents of rights, Massachusetts must empower its own. A free ride to the polls is the least we can do to make that happen.
Yet our work is far from done. Now, we need your support to make the FARE Act a reality.
From now until Wednesday, August 11th, the state's Joint Committee on Transportation will be accepting public testimony on the FARE Act. We encourage you to submit testimony because it is crucial that legislators hear from you. You may submit your testimony by simply emailing it to Kirsten.Centrella@mahouse.gov. To help guide your testimony, you may reference our Democracy Briefing and Advocacy Toolkit.