L.A. Metro votes to support creating financial plan to provide free rides to students, low-income riders

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A man sits in a nearly empty train car on the Metro Blue Line at the 7th and Metro station in Los Angeles last year. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

A man sits in a nearly empty train car on the Metro Blue Line at the 7th and Metro station in Los Angeles last year. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has decided it still needs a strong financial plan before greenlighting a pilot project that would allow students and low-income people to ride Metro trains and buses for free.

Metro’s directors unanimously voted Thursday to direct incoming Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Wiggins to develop a proposal to ensure the plan is financially sustainable. The project must satisfy several conditions, including assurance that funding for this pilot program will not financially affect other pending or already existing programs.

Although the board’s vote does not officially greenlight the free fare plan, the board expressed unwavering support to keep the idea alive.

“Since we’ve been talking about fareless initiative, I’ve supported it,” said Janice Hahn, an MTA board member and Los Angeles County supervisor. “But I’m clear that it really matters how we get there and how we implement it.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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