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Kansas City's free bus fares aren't free

Kansas City's buses will remain free to ride after City Council renewed its annual contract with the Transportation Authority. The agency still faces a $26 million budget shortfall, threatening bus service for future years unless something changes.

Kansas City Council unanimously approved $71 million to fund the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, which ensures bus and paratransit rides will remain free until the contract expires next April. In the meantime, City Manager Brian Platt has been instructed to examine the costs and benefits of "zero-fare" compared to "functional free fare." Details are scarce.

Up To Date's Steve Kraske spoke with Sunrise Movement KC organizer Mahreen Ansari, 6th District Council member Johnathan Duncan, and KCATA's Chief Mobility and Strategy Officer Tyler Means about the costs and benefits of continuing free bus service in Kansas City.

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Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by David McKeel and KCUR Studios, and edited by Madeline Fox and Gabe Rosenberg.

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