In last week’s Time Out New York, the editors were discussing “Why Didn’t We Think Of That?”, great ideas other cities have embraced, that NYC has not.

Among the great ideas – an indoor, year-round ski resort, artist-designed manhole covers, and, the best idea, of course, beer vending machines.

Also thrown out as an idea is an intriguing one: free downtown bus rides.

Hmmm.

What do you think? What if bus rides in Boston Proper were free? Would more people take them, instead of cars, for short trips? Would it have any effect at all?

Most people don’t choose to take public transportation based on cost, in my opinion (I read this somewhere, in fact). Even if the entire MBTA system was free, there is probably a finite number of people who would use it, regularly, mostly because of convenience, location, etc.

I don’t know if there’d be a huge increase in ridership, nor do I know if there would be a significant drop-off in the number of cars in the downtown area.

(Reduction in the number of cars on the road should/would be the goal, I think.)

Perhaps. It all comes down to reliability, I guess.

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Updated: January 2018

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