City officials want Nashvillians to hop on the bus — for free, for a day.
Mayor Karl Dean and Paul Ballard, CEO of the Metro Transit Authority, said Thursday they’re encouraging those who don’t normally ride public transportation to try unlimited free rides all day on March 9.
Dean and Ballard announced “Fareless Friday,” an attempt to boost ridership, Thursday morning at Five Points in East Nashville.
“I am a regular rider and take the bus as often as possible,” Dean said. “I am convinced that if more people tried it, they would appreciate the many benefits and convenience just like I do. By offering a free bus day, I hope to encourage a large number of Nashvillians to leave their cars at home and ride on MTA buses.”
The free rides will begin in the early morning on Friday, March 9, when the first bus departs the MTA garage, and will end when buses complete their final runs late Friday night.
According to MTA, ridership through the first six months of fiscal year 2012 is up 16 percent compared to the same time last year, with more than 4.6 million passenger-trips taken.
MTA operates about 40 bus routes across the city. For information on bus routes, go to nashvillemta.org.