citizen-times : " Right now the fares paid by riders cover 14 percent of what it costs to operate our transit system. That does not include the cost of maintaining the fare boxes, accounting, or printing tickets and passes. It also doesn’t include the cost of buying new buses, installing bus shelters and other capital expenses.
Going fare-free could potentially save the City of Asheville money by eliminating the impending investment in proposed fare boxes, which would cost upwards of $15,000 per bus. Other cities that have gone fare-free realized the fares generated barely cover the expenses of collecting fares, purchasing and maintaining fare boxes, accounting costs, and managing the funds that are collected."