Brownsville Metro will offer free rides on Election Day

An early voting clerk sanitizes each voting booth Thursday before the daily opening of the early voting polling location inside the Brownsville Public Library Main Branch. (Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)

On Election Day, Brownsville Metro will provide free rides on fixed routes to encourage citizens needing transportation to go vote, after the City Commission and Mayor approved the item on Tuesday.

The free rides will be extended to all riders using Brownsville Metro services on this day and all passengers will need to continue to adhere to City guidelines and wear facial coverings. Ridership will be limited to no more than the seating capacity of each bus.

Norma Zamora, Multimodal Transportation director, said in a memo sent to the City Commission and Mayor that earlier this year the Brownsville Metro Transit Advisory Committee (TAC) was approached by Cameron County Democratic Women (CCDW) President Teresa Saldivar and colleague Melva Perez, requesting Brownsville Metro provide free rides for the general elections on Nov. 3.

“Perez presented to the committee that one of the main reasons there is not a greater turnout of voters is the transportation needed for the public to access the voting polls,” Zamora wrote.

Other transportation systems have implemented similar methods to encourage and assist citizens get to the voting polls.

In 2018, Houston Metro waived the fee by allowing the voter to simply let the driver know they were headed to and/or from the voting polls. Whereas, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) waived the fee by showing an eligible voter ID card, the memo reads.