Special Time to Take a Ride
by: Joseph Brant
Riya Trikha and Aaryan Menon presented their bill which aims to make buses and trains “free of cost during the hours 5:30-6:30 am and 5:30-6:30 pm.” This bill seeks to make public transportation universally accessible and ease the burden of getting to and from work for low-income employees.
This bill would “enact free public transportation in Illinois.” These hours were chosen because they are peak travel times and would help the most people while minimizing the revenue lost by this policy. The public transport system would be used more instead of “choosing to use cars…and the people who work far away will be able to get to their job more efficiently.”
If a company should fail to comply, their government funding would be reduced. In the first month, funding would be reduced from 20% to 15%, and each month after the first will result in a 5% decrease.
The bill was inspired by the author’s observations of people struggling to get to work, family events, and other obligations. Trikha stated that “this bill will really help people who really need it without hurting the people who can afford public transportation.
While there is no existing legislation like this in the United States, in countries like Scotland, similar programs have already been implemented
During the legislative process, some may oppose the bill because “they think that this would hurt the private companies, but the tollway system has revenue to cover this.”