By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — Boston is beginning a free MBTA bus pilot program on Route 28. Riders won’t need to pay a fare on the route from August 29 to November 29.

Route 28 is one of the most used bus routes in the city, both before and during the pandemic. It runs from Mattapan Square to Ruggles Station through Nubian Square and Roxbury Crossing.

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According to Acting Mayor Kim Janey, there were approximately 12,880 riders every weekday on the route pre-pandemic. Ridership is steady throughout the day compared to most other routes that see low off-peak ridership.

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The pilot program is funded by $500,000 from the city with the goal of helping communities hit hardest by COVID-19. More than 2/3 of riders on Route 28 are classified as low-income, according to an MBTA survey.

“This pilot will help us achieve rider equity, provide monetary support to riders, and allow us to better understand what impact travel time,” Janey said. “[It] will measure the impact of free fares for ridership along the 28 bus route.”

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The mayor took the bus to Monday’s announcement. She said she, like many others, relies on dependable public transportation and would love to see free buses throughout the city. Staff