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Public transit should be free for statewide primaries and elections

In her recent op-ed, “Voter suppression happens in Massachusetts, too,” Jyoti Jasrasaria was on point. Yet there is one pro-voter policy she did not mention that also warrants discussion: the FARE Act.

The FARE Act, under review on Beacon Hill, would make public transit free for all statewide primaries and elections. It would apply to bus, subway, and trolley service on the MBTA as well as the state’s 15 regional transit authorities.

This policy is critical to boosting voter turnout in Massachusetts, especially in our BIPOC, low-income, and immigrant communities. As of 2017, approximately 9 percent of white Massachusetts households did not have reliable access to a car. Yet that rate rose to 25 percent for Black households and 27 percent for Latinx households. Along these lines, many of our most diverse communities experienced some of the lowest voter turnout rates in the 2020 general election.


The FARE Act would empower underserved voters by breaking down financial barriers to the polls. One hundred state legislators, mayors, city councilors, and advocates agree, and have pledged their support to the act. Now the state must waste no time in passing this measure.

Alex Psilakis

Policy and communications manager



MassVOTE is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to voting rights.