One day after the Metro Board of Directors approved a plan to have the county transit agency offer free rides on election day, the Los Angeles City Council followed suit Friday and approved a proposal to do the same on city transit lines.
Councilman Mike Bonin, who chairs the Transportation Committee and is also a member of the Metro Board of Directors, introduced a motion that calls for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation to provide free rides on all DASH, Commuter Express, and Cityride services on Nov. 6, and to report on the feasibility of providing free transit service on every federal and statewide election day.
Bonin’s motion notes that many other larger cities already offer free public transit rides on election days, including Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Tampa and Kansas City, as well as the state of Minnesota.
“It is time for the city of Los Angeles to join this trend. This is particularly important in light of the fact that the city’s transit services currently provide critical mobility needs, particularly for low-income residents, students, and people of color that are all underrepresented in the voting booth,” the motion states.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, along with Los Angeles County Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Mark Ridley-Thomas and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, introduced the approved Metro motion to lift fares for all riders on Nov. 6.
“A lack of transportation should never stand between a voter and the polls,” Garcetti said. “Every vote counts in this democracy, and we have to do everything we can to help Americans exercise our most fundamental right.”
The City Council motion was approved on an 11-0 vote.