Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Thursday proposed that Metro provide free rides on election day.
Garcetti, along with co-authors Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, introduced a motion at the Metro Executive Management Committee meeting which would direct the transit agency to lift fares for all riders on Nov. 6.
"A lack of transportation should never stand between a voter and the polls," Garcetti said. "Every vote counts in this democracy, and we have to do everything we can to help Americans exercise our most fundamental right."
Garcetti's office noted that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's 2016 Survey of the Performance of American Elections found that 51 percent of California voters cited a lack of transportation as a factor for not voting, and that other studies have shown that lack of access to transportation to get to polls disproportionately affects minority voters, people with low incomes, persons with disabilities, and young people, which are also the populations most reliant on Metro for mobility.
"On election day, our priority must be making sure voters in all corners of the county are undeterred from getting to the ballot box and exercising their right to vote," Ridley-Thomas said. "Free rides are a great way to help make that happen."
The motion will go to the Metro Board of Directors for consideration at its regular meeting on Oct. 25.