Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, shall conduct a study of the impacts, benefits, and costs of a low-income fare program for the commuter rail and ferry, that provides reduced or discounted transit fares to qualifying riders between the ages of 25 – 65. The study shall include, but not be limited to, an examination of (i) number of riders who would benefit from the program, (ii) number of riders within each zone who would benefit from the program, (iii) the average reduction of each fare by mode, (iii) overall impact on fare revenue, (iv) models for determining eligibility requirements and the verification method, (v) improved methods for advertising existing reduced fare programs and the potential expansion under this study to the general public. The report shall examine the potential for the Department of Transitional Assistance to inform individuals who qualify for MassHealth that they qualify for reduced fare programs under the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority. The report shall be filed with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives, the senate and house committees on ways and means and the joint committee on transportation no later than July 31, 2023.
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