Imagine a transit system where there are no turnstiles, where the police presence is minimal because cops aren’t lurking around to enforce fares. Picture a subway and bus network that is free, open and functional because those who profit most from it pay for it.

Lawmakers in Kansas City, Missouri took a step in just this direction earlier in December, passing a bill that directed the city’s manager to set aside $8 million a year to cover the fare of $1.50 for every rider. It is expected to save frequent bus users in the city of 490,000 people about $1,000 a year.

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