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 | yle.fi: "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."