August 1, 2014

Is it time for public transportation to be free?

Photo courtesy wishfulanthony

Photo courtesy wishfulanthony
NEW YORK — Citing a radical move in Paris, which introduced alternate driving days and eliminated fares on local trams, buses, trains and subways, a Salon reporter believes it is time for the U.S. to make public transportation free.

The story discusses issues at some U.S. transit agencies in recouping enough funding through fares and high usage in U.S. cities when public transportation was free, as well as success in moving to a fare-free system in other cities throughout the world. For the full story, click here. digg it stumble upon newsvine
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  • Ned Einstein[ August 1st, 2014 @ 5:26pm ]

    Yes its time -- BUT! Europeans transit services are far closer to reaching the critical mass that facilitates their efficiency, better urban form, and more importantly, much far more intelligent system design. So their costs are significantly lower. U.S. paratransit services typically operate at 1/3 the efficiency that any system I ever designed (of any size) did. So the answer is two-fold: We need radical changes in efficiency, mostly through more enlightened system design, and then should move toward a free system. But other energy-saving changes must also be made -- like a Federal mandate for the utility companies to run the "meter backwards" for homeowners and businesses who invest their own resources in technology to capture heat, wind and energy from water currents. This is not a change that makes sense as a "stand-alone" change.

  • Earl Christian[ August 8th, 2014 @ 8:56am ]

    Full government subsidies of freeways and highways caused urban sprawl and made it nearly impossible for the senior, disabled, youth, and poor to get around a much more spread out city. As a result, we now need to subsidize transit for them. Why not fix the first problem instead of creating a second problem? Why not tax gas appropriately and have gas consumers pay for the Iraq War as well as the social and economic costs of urban sprawl (including transit)? Why not force developers to pay for extending not only municipal services to serve their area but also transit and the social and economic costs of urban sprawl? If you took everything into consideration, buying a house in the inner-city would then be cheaper than a house out in the middle of nowhere. Why not end government public school monopolies and allow parents to send their children to any school they wish with school vouchers, hence fewer affluent families would move further and further away from the poor inner-city? The answer is less government subsidization not more.


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