woman carrying groceries on the bus

Fare-free bus ride to healthy, affordable food

What would you do with an extra $50 a month? That’s what zero fare transit could save for people who depend on the city bus to get around. For a family, bus passes can easily add up to $2,000 a year.

The KCMO zero fare plan would make fixed route buses free for all riders. That savings could go a long way at the grocery store or pharmacy. 

People are more likely to use public transportation when it is safe, efficient and affordable. In our Better by Bus report, riders told us bus fares need to be reduced, especially for riders with low incomes, to improve grocery access by bus.

Bus riders also told us they want to feel safe and comfortable. RideKC is already one of the safest bus systems, and over 90% of conflicts are due to fare disputes. Removing the fare box could improve bus operator and rider safety. Eliminating fares also improves efficiency and on-time performance since bus riders can board more quickly.

More than 20,000 households in KCMO have no access to a vehicle, and those residents often live in neighborhoods without a grocery store nearby. For them, a trip to the grocery store can be challenging. 

We know that inconsistent access to food, known as food insecurity, is closely related to negative health outcomes like diabetes, obesity and heart disease. In Jackson County, Missouri:

  • 10% of households have no access to a vehicle
  • 16% of residents and 18% of kids experience food insecurity
  • 22% of residents live more than 1 mile from a supermarket
  • 11% of adults have diabetes and 31% of adults are obese

We support zero fare transit to improve access to healthy, affordable food and public health by making Kansas City buses safe, efficient and affordable for all riders. If you support zero fare transit too, here are a few ways you can advocate:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email