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Metro for DC Amendment Act

Policy Details

Policy Type: Policy
Jurisdiction: Local — Washington, DC
Status: Passed

Policy Summary

As enacted, Bill 24-429 would establish a Bus Service Enhancement Fund (formerly Transit Equity Fund). This policy will help make transportation in D.C more efficient and affordable. As soon as summer 2023, all buses in D.C will be free for residents and visitors, reducing the $2 fare that currently exists. This includes any trip that starts in D.C. and ends in Maryland or Virginia. In addition to the free bus service, the law aims to improve reliability by making 12 of the city’s busiest bus routes, including those in high-need or underserved communities, operate 24 hours a day. The bill “hopes to make bus services faster, increase bus ridership, reduce road congestion, eliminate fare evasion, and be more reliable without people having to stop and pay a fare.”

Starting on January 1, 2024, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) must publicly report data about the implementation and administration of the bill. While D.C is not the first city to pass this type of policy, it is the largest city in the country to provide free bus rides.

Summary courtesy of WUSA9, Politico and Racial Equity Impact Assessment.


Does this policy address needs impacting diverse groups within Black communities (Black femmes, Black LGBTQ+ communities, Black immigrants, people in poverty, differently abled, people impacted by justice system)? 

Proof of District residency is required to participate, while DDOT decides on what counts as proof, examples may include a utility bill or a social service proof of residency form for residents experiencing homelessness.

How does the proposed policy solution re-distribute power from mainstream institutions to empower the impacted community? 

A racial equity impact assessment of this bill revealed it:

  • Will improve transportation access and economic outcomes for Black residents, Indigenous residents, and other residents of color particularly for those that make less than $10,000 a year.
  • Will likely improve employment outcomes for Black residents that ride Metrobus

Does this policy provide more decision-making power at the hands of Black communities? 

This policy will allow Black communities to participate in transportation access and economic outcomes, but it is not clear if they will have any decision-making power.

How does the proposed policy undermine extractive economies like capitalism and restore community power around a local and regenerative economy/ primary production? 

Increasing metro and bus ridership undermines single rider vehicles transportation, a primary source of GHG emissions in the US. Transportation outcomes which improve economic outcomes may then support local economies.

How does the proposed policy repair past harm and uphold civil and human rights, health and environmental protections? 

Transportation in the District is molded by government decisions regarding redlining, disinvestment, and urban renewal. Urban renewal projects such as the razing of Southwest and the construction of Interstate 395 displaced more than 10,000 Black residents. This policy will help increase access to and re-distribute social and economic opportunities for Black residents.

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