Transform Transportation

VICTORY: Bill to update fare free public transit program signed into law

HB 1101 will help maximize zero fare programs and give agencies tools to raise money for transit service

Staff | Used by permission

On April 28, Governor Polis signed HB23-1101 into law. Sponsored by Representatives Bacon and Vigil and Senators Hinrichsen and Winter, the new law will give local transit agencies throughout the state more flexibility when implementing their 2023 ozone season transit grant programs. These programs are designed to offer transit at no cost for 30 days or more, enticing people out of their cars during a time when harmful ozone air pollution is highest.

By allowing use of the grants for increasing transit service and raising awareness about the program, the new law is expected to maximize the impact of the “zero fare” or “fare free” months transit agencies across the state are planning for this year. These fare fare periods – when transit is available to the public completely free of charge – build on the success of such programs in 2022.

The new law also gives local transit agencies tools to raise money for transit service, opening the possibility for transformational improvements to public transit in the future.

Reducing pollution from the transportation sector is among the nine actions in CoPIRG’s Ozone Agenda, a package of policy ideas that address harmful ozone pollution across multiple sectors – from lawn and garden equipment to transportation to oil & gas and more. 

In recent years, Colorado has suffered from some of the highest ozone pollution in the country. Breathing ozone can cause harmful health effects including lung damage, worsening of existing respiratory conditions such as asthma and cardiovascular disease


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