Councilman Tyler Maxwell is offering up his first his first major policy change. It would make Fresno, the biggest municipality in the county. to offer free bus rides on the Fresno Area Express.
Councilman Tyler Maxwell has Big Plans for Mass Transportation
A number of initiatives are what councilman Tyler Maxwell is planning as part of the “Zero Fare Clean Air Act.” In fact, the zero fare policy involves two of his colleagues on the council. They include both Nelson Esparza and Esmeralda Soria.
According to Maxwell, the plan would have immediate and wide-ranging benefits. In fact, those would include getting people where they need to go to get vaccinated from COVID-19. It would improve air quality. In addition, to improving the lives of some of the city’s poorest families.
Councilman Tyler Maxwell: The Public is Struggling Financially
Coming up with $3 to $6 every single day is really impossible, said Tyler. Especially when you don’t have disposable income. Therefore, we really take things for granted. Moreover, it is a real challenge for tens of thousands of our families make in Fresno every single day.”
City of Fresno Makes Millions off of Bus Fares
From bus fares, Maxwell said the city of Fresno pulls down from $5.5 million to $6 million a year from bus fares. In fact, that does not account for the roughly $500,000 it costs to collect the money.
CARES Act Dollars Comes into Play with Lost Bus Fare Revenue
The question is how will the city make up for that $5 million in lost bus fare revenue?
In the short term, the loss could be covered by CARES Act Dollars. But in the long term, it could be covered by grants or savings from within the FAX department.
Moreover, other cities have gone zero far or are looking into it including Kansas City and Missouri.
Helping get zero-fare off the ground there, Anthem Blue Cross paid $1 million for five years. This is an example of a public-private partnership Fresno could use, Maxwell said.