South Coast residents want ‘Try Transit’ expanded

May 1, 2024

The Southeastern Regional Transit Authority has a “Try Transit” program running until Sunday, June 30 that allows customers free access to its fixed route and demand response services and residents want this program extended, according to a recent survey.

This promotion is currently made possible through a grant awarded by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

SRTA routes that cover Dartmouth include: Route 9 (Intercity), Route 210 (Dartmouth Mall) and Route 203 (Dartmouth Street).
According to the SRTA, a survey conducted by The MassINC Polling Group released Wednesday, May 1 shows that two-thirds of residents from 10 communities served by the SRTA support the fare free service; advocates and communities want the service to be extended.

"Transportation poses a substantial financial burden for families, particularly those with limited means and access to transportation who depend on SRTA for essential journeys to work, school, medical facilities, and shopping," said Sabrina Davis, Transit and Environmental Justice Coordinator of the Coalition for Social Justice. "We've seen similar programs across the state have long-term success in rebounding ridership, expanding service and reliability. We hope SRTA extends this crucial program that has been a lifeline for so many riders."

According to the survey, 60% of the survey respondents supported tapping into “the newly created surtax on incomes over $1 million to fund SRTA and other RTAs serving the state,” with 41% of respondents strongly supporting it as a funding source.

According to the SRTA, “These high levels of support are despite the fact that the vast majority (87%) of residents surveyed report ‘never’ riding SRTA. Their support for fare-free buses stems from their concern for lower-income residents and those who do not have access to a vehicle.”