Friday, April 21, 2017

Japan: Capitalists panicked over falling birth rate, but admit they caused it

The Independent: "By 2065 nearly 40 per cent of the country will be senior citizens. There will be 1.3 workers for every person over the age of 65, compared to 2.3 in 2015. Economists have described the situation as a “demographic time bomb”.
....“That’s because of the increase in irregular workers and the fact that more and more people cannot marry for economic reasons, even if they want to.”"

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Pensioners in Russia fight to keep #freepublictransport

openDemocracy: "The initiative group’s actions have been mirrored by another movement in the city — Novosibirsk’s pensioners, who were prominent during Russia’s 2011-2012 protests. Their actions largely centre around the protection of existing benefits (and thus recognition of status), such as the planned removal of free unlimited public transport in 2011, which inspired them to protest every two weeks in the city centre. Novosibirsk pensioner groups have also protested the tariff rise. And now that regional legislators (including United Russia deputies) want to reconsider the tariff hike, it looks like protests do matter."

Monday, April 17, 2017

Malta - #freepublictransport the obvious solution, but none dare say it

maltatoday : "It seems tedious to always be talking about the traffic, but it is probably the one major issue about which there is consensus. The problem is getting worse, and successive governments have failed to truly provide an efficient enough public transport system which will make us release our firm grip on our car keys, and opt for the bus instead."

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Tallinn - "best solution" for traffic jams is #freepublictransport "In order to reduce CO2 emissions, we have created a free public transport system, so people can move around more freely. People can easily get from one side of the city to the other. We want to minimise the number of cars in the centre of Tallinn and we are creating routes for transport which are away from the centre of the city.

We have the same problems which you will find in other big cities: traffic jams and too many cars and the best solution for that is free public transport. We have been able to increase the number of passengers using public transport. We have discussed with the people, which street should be the city’s main street and we are trying to reduce the number of cars there and to have green nature spaces, so people can circulate there freely."

Monday, March 20, 2017

Cost of #freepublictransport: £12m. Cost of cars: the biosphere.

City A.M.: ""TfL modellers estimate that one day's free travel would cost up to £12m in lost revenue," Khan told Green Party London Assembly member Caroline Russell, in response to her question about whether the mayor had looked into the cost of free public transport on days when air pollution was particularly high."
London mayor reassures his masters that he will not endanger the auto and sprawl system or oil profits.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Britain to "solve" air pollution with more car subsidy

University of Birmingham: "The British government claims to be committed to reducing pollution despite the Brexit vote. A spokesman has said: ‘we have committed more than £2 billion since 2011 to increase the uptake of ultra-low emissions vehicles and support greener transport schemes and set out how we will improve air quality through a new programme of Clean Air Zones.’"

Barcelona -- Give up old car, get 3 years #freepublictransport

Co.Exist: "But most radical of all, perhaps, is a proposal to give a free public transit pass, valid for three years, to anyone who has to give up their car because of the ban. That won't be cheap, but it's an amazing way to take care of people, while almost forcing them onto public transport, which must be a major goal of any car-removal scheme."
Barcelona sees the benefit of free public transport, but still keeps bureaucratic sticker plan to please oil masters. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Czech Republic city considering #freepublictransport for smog

Prague Monitor: "The Town Hall of Brno, south Moravia, the second largest town in the country, where smog situation has lasted since Monday, is to debate the possibility of free public transport due to the increased air pollution."

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Comparaison des coûts, temps de trajet et pollution émise selon le mode de transport utilisé "La Mairie de Paris a fait réaliser un comparatif du coût, du temps, et de la pollution engendrée (émissions de CO2) des différents modes de transport selon plusieurs types de trajets (internes à Paris, Paris-Petite Couronne ou Paris-Grande Couronne).

Qu’émettez-vous ? Qu’inhalez-vous ? Que payez-vous ? Sur différents trajets types, en fonction du mode de déplacement, nous avons comparé le coût, le temps, et la pollution engendrée (émissions de CO2)."

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Renewable energy production stagnates in Germany in 2016

Energy Transition: "After strong growth in 2015, there were only minor changes in the share of renewables last year. In fact, the most surprising thing is the change in natural gas. Craig Morris takes a look."

Friday, February 10, 2017

Free public transport successful in Skopje, Sofia considering also

Sofia News Agency: "Earlier, the Mayor of Bulgaria's capital had suggested free-of-charge public transport and a reduction of speed limit in certain areas would help improve the quality of the air when pollution peaks.

A number of cities across Europe have considered or introduced free public transport on a provisional basis as a measure against air pollution.

Skopje, which also took the step earlier this week, reversed it on Thursday, saying dust particles had fallen below dangerous levels."

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Sofia, Bulgaria, plan for #freepublictransport for PM pollution : "Sofia. Sofia municipality will present a plan against air pollution. The focus in it will be prohibiting diesel cars without catalytic converters and introducing national standards for fuels used for heating. The plan also includes free public transport at sustained high levels of fine particulate matter. Mayor of Sofia Municipality Yordanka Fandakova will present in detail all the measures for improving air quality – short-term, mid-term, and long-term ones."

Benefit of being #carfree -- reduced stress

The Local: "Not owning a car also highlights how much stress driving can cause. Worrying about getting in an accident, careless drivers, and – most of all – traffic is eliminated when taking the tunnelbana or pendletåg (commuter train). As I hear that traffic is getting worse every day Nashville, I am thankful to jump onto public transit and enjoy the ride."

Monday, February 6, 2017

Skopje, Macedonia, makes #publictransport fare-free to fight pollution

MINA : "As of Tuesday, the City of Skopje is introducing free public transport in all buses of the public transportation enterprise and privately-owned buses for Skopje citizens until the air pollution levels go down, said Skopje Mayor Koce Trajanovski on Monday."

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Szeged, Hungary, #freepublictransport to fight smog

Hungary Today: "There already exists a good example of this in Hungary. In Szeged, Mayor László Botka (Hungarian Socialist Party) put the city on highest alert for smog. For the duration of the alert, the city is offering free public transport services to decrease air pollution caused by traffic in the southern Hungarian city. People can take free rides on the buses and trams of the city from Tuesday to Sunday in Szeged."

Monday, January 23, 2017

PM research shows traffic congestion costs to soar

Population Matters: "New analysis released by Population Matters estimates England will face total annual costs of £23.8 billion by 2030 as a result of road and rail congestion caused by surging population. This would mark a 58.7 per cent increase over the £15bn figure for 2015, costing the economy an extra £8.8 billion annually."

Why does Paris choose bureaucracy over free transport?

Paris pollution prompts first vehicle ban under new sticker system - The Local: "The "Crit'Air" stickers - which have been rolled out over the past six months - will come into play for the first time on Monday as pollution levels peak again."
Paris has dropped free public transport as a way to fight pollution and instead adopted a complex bureaucratic sticker system and divisive road closures.

Why? Simple answer. Free public transport promotes degrowth. People might decide they like it and are willing to "pay" for it. Which they could do without a tax increase. The cost reductions in parking, congestion, health, collisions, carbon emissions, etc would easily outweigh the "lost" fares.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Helsinki region: 59% want free public transport

Yle Uutiset | "The majority of residents in the Helsinki region, 59%, back the idea of free public transport, according to a poll published Monday morning by the daily Helsingin Sanomat.

Reacting to the survey, the CEO of Helsinki Regional Transport Suvi Rihtniemi said she does not believe a completely ticket-free system would be possible, at least not for a very long time. One reason she gave is that the present arrangement in which municipalities pay half the costs and users pay the other half works well.

The Estonian capital Tallinn successfully introduced free public transport for residents in 2013. One study carried out last April shows that free public transport there had drawn in 25,000 to 30,000 new residents, increasing the city's tax revenues not only enough to cover costs, but to bring the city a profit of 13 to 18 million euros.

Since the elimination of fees for transport in Tallinn, the use of the public system has increased by over 14% while the use of private cars has fallen by the same proportion.

In Tallinn the sharpest increase in the use of public transport was among 15-19 year-olds, people between the ages of 60 and 74, people living on low incomes, and the unemployed. The Helsingin Sanomat poll found that these same groups in the Helsinki region are heavily in favour of introducing a similar system here."

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Anything except free public transport

Authorities in France who implemented free public transport got that phone call from the oil industry... any scheme is ok except free public transport. A good replacement was probably suggested, something very bureaucratic and expensive to enforce, and that puts the blame on the average citizen.

British motorists face pollution fines in Paris as car windscreen sticker scheme opens: "All scooters, cars and lorries now require a sticker showing how much they pollute on their windscreens. Those with high pollution scores face being barred from entering the French capital on days when pollution is high."

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Union brands school transport fee reports ‘alarming’

ITV News : "Unite in the Community Regional Coordinator, Albert Hewitt, also said that he feared the proposal was “being sneaked in under the shadow of an increasingly divisive election”.

He added: “Unless the NI Executive intervenes to halt this and provides adequate funding for school transport, our branches will work with drivers, parents, children, schools, local communities and local trades councils to build a people power campaign to defeat this proposal.

“There’s hundreds of millions spare to cut corporation tax, to subsidise wood burners, and for unnecessary voluntary exit schemes - but we are told there’s no money when it comes to our schools, our hospitals, or our buses.""

Friday, January 13, 2017

MP: Let students use trains for free every day of the week

NL Times: "Allow students to travel with their student public transit cards every day of the week, calls D66 parliamentarian Paul van Meenen. According to him, it will mean that trains will be much quieter on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons, Metro Nieuws reports.

Currently students have to chose whether they want to travel free of charge during the week or over the weekends. Some 93 percent of students opt for the weekday public transit card. This means that students living away from home take the train home to mom and dad on a Friday after classes, and only return to school on a Monday morning. If the student public transit card works every day of the week, they can go home on a Saturday morning and return to school on a Sunday evening. "All travelers will benefit from it", Van Meenen said to Metro."

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Paris mayor’s war on cars moves up a gear with ban in heart of city

France 24: "The Socialist mayor, and passionate green advocate, announced plans to ban cars from key thoroughfares around the Louvre Museum and boost the city’s cycling infrastructure to combat traffic pollution.

Hidalgo laid out her vision in the weekly ‘Journal du Dimanche’ newspaper, going so far as to call personal vehicles “archaic.”

“The idea is to, little by little, move towards the pedestrianisation of downtown, which, over time, will stay open to public transport, police, emergency vehicles and deliveries, but not to all vehicles,” she said."

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Public transport passenger numbers up 4.4 percent in Ireland

eurotransportmagazine : "The National Transport Authority has published preliminary full-year figures for Ireland’s state-supported public transport operators in 2016. Results show 10 million additional passengers used public transport in 2016, an increase of 4.4 percent compared to 2015. In total, 234 million travelled via subsidised PSO (Public Service Obligation) services provided by Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann and Luas."