Thursday, November 22, 2018

Letter to Irish Times tells advantages of free public transport

Sir, – We need to discourage the use of private cars in order to help address our climate obligations. This tends to be perceived very negatively by car users, but could in fact hugely increase our quality of life.
Let’s imagine we introduce a charge for taking a private car into our city centres and simultaneously provide free public transport and increase the number of city bicycles available.
Potential advantages include the reduction of pollution levels in the cities, better traffic flow for public transport and essential transport and deliveries in cities, better living conditions for city dwellers, safer roads for pedestrians and cyclists, a healthier and fitter population.
Clearly there would have to be exceptions to the charge, perhaps zero emission vehicles, vehicles with a disability sticker, all public transport vehicles, delivery vehicles of a particular size, construction-related vehicles and essential services? Perhaps there could also be an appeal process for reclaiming the charge in instances of unexpected emergencies.
Let’s imagine cities where the people, not the cars, are the kings of the road. – Yours, etc,
Dublin 14. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

With fare-free buses, people of Dunkirk, France, more active in community

Free public transport in the French channel port of Dunkirk has given rise to a quiet revolution. Fare-free buses, which were instituted last month, have made residents not only happier but also more active in their communities.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Make buses free first, then you will have demand for more service

"It would have been better if passenger numbers increased as a result of us making changes to the bus network, not us offering free bus transport," Kase said.

On the other hand, Southeast Transport Centre board member Sander Saar observed that while it was previously thought that the bus schedule was the issue — that bus times weren't a good fit for riders — the increase in ridership following the introduction of free transport supports the fact that it was ticket prices that were a greater issue for riders.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Dunkirk, France, pop. 200,000, has fare-free #publictransport

From the 1st of September, public buses in Dunkirk (pictured) are completely free of charge – making the northern French port city with 200,000 inhabitants “Europe's largest agglomeration to offer free bus transport”, according to the city's mayor Patrice Vergriete.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Free public transport in Malta will take cars off the road
The new free public transport initiative for students of church and independent schools will remove 6300 cars in the morning, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said. 
Speaking on One Radio, Muscat said that the measure would not only reduce traffic during the morning but would also allow families to save 700 euro per year on their disposable income.

He did concede that there may be teething issues given that the project is a complex proposal, however, he maintained that in the long-term the plan would yield positive results.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Dunkirk, France, starts fare-free #publictransit Mayor of Dunkirk Patrice Vergriete reportedly held up Tallinn as an example of how free transport systems can work in practice, with the need for further expansion on an international scale outlined by both mayors.

''Following the example of our cities, the free public transport debate has opened up in Paris, Bucharest and various German cities,'' claimed Mr. Aas (Centre).

Saturday, September 1, 2018

The way out of the car jam is through buses As Lothian have pointed out, one bus takes 75 cars off the road. If we’re serious about jam-free cities, buses are part of the solution. Affordable, reliable, quick and clean public transport is what we need if we want to tackle social inequality, strengthen our economy, and improve public health and our environment.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

VodafoneZiggo, #freepublictransport for employees VodafoneZiggo introduces a new mobility policy for all its employees aimed at free travel by public transport to help reduce CO₂ emissions.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Free public transport boosts Ida-Viru County passenger numbers by 92% According to the Road Administration's public transport statistic, the number of passengers across all counties that introduced free public transport on 1 July this year has increased by 20%. In Ida-Viru County, passenger numbers almost doubled.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Luxembourg election: two parties promising #freepublictransport The Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party (LSAP) wants to introduce free transport, increase the minimum wage and concentrate overall on social issues if it is part of the next government.
It is the second political party to pledge to bring in free public transport ahead of national elections in October.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Another domino falls. Town in Bulgaria adopts fare-free urban transport is preparing to launch free public transport in the town and in the surrounding villages, BNT reported. The cost of transporting the citizens will be at the expense of the collected taxes and fees. So the municipality of Stamboliyskii, which has about 23,000 inhabitants according to official data, will become the only one in Bulgaria, where there will be no need for a public transport ticket.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Luxembourg party promises #freepublictransport

Luxembourg's centrist Democratic Party (DP) has pledged to make public transport completely free as part of its election pitch to voters.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

German cities to cut #publictransport fares

handelsblatt Five German cities plan to emulate an Austrian scheme to radically cut the cost of public transport in a bid to combat pollution. The German government will subsidize the project with €128 million ($148 million) to help cover the income shortfall from cheaper tickets.

Estonians to get free public transport

Free travel will initially start on county buses and eventually be extended to trains. Until train travel is free tickets for state-owned railways will be considerably cheaper.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Free public transport will be available nationwide in Estonia

Starting on 1 July 2018, Estonia’s entire public transport network will be free, meaning citizens can travel from one end of the country to the other with no charge.

This will be implemented across the whole country, excluding the capital, Tallinn, where the city’s buses, trams, trolley buses and trains are free for the residents only – a scheme deployed in 2013.

It is believed that the economic benefits, including increased business productivity, better air quality, less pollution, reduced congestion, health improvements and improved fuel efficiency, will outweigh the loss of earnings.

Without the need for ticket sales and inspections the efficiency of bus travel will increase dramatically, reducing the time spent stationary. This plan demonstrates Estonia’s strong commitment to encouraging public transport and securing sustainable mobility.

Friday, June 1, 2018

UK Labor leader promises #freepublictransport for under 25 y.o.

ICAEW Economia: "Cities in France and Germany are already considering such proposals, to reduce traffic and air pollution. And in the UK, Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn declared that he would introduce free bus travel for under-25s, to complement the passes already available to senior citizens."

World Leaders gather in Tallinn to plan free public transport

ftnnews : "Leaders from municipalities, researchers and civic activists from all over the world came to Tallinn from the 9-12 May to discuss free public transport."'

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Estonia To Become The World’s First Free Public Transport Nation

popupcity : "Tallinn, known for its digital government and successful tech startups, is often referred to as Europe’s innovation capital. Now celebrating five years of free public transport for all citizens, the government is planning to make Estonia the first free public transport nation. Allan Alaküla, Head of Tallinn European Union Office, shares some valuable insights for other cities."

Paris Ponders an Audacious Idea: Free Transit For All

CityLab : "You can’t fault Paris for ambition. After banning the most polluting vehicles from the city, pedestrianizing the Seine’s banks, and generally pushing the transformation of the French capital into one of the least car-centric major cities in Europe, Mayor Anne Hidalgo is preparing to go a step further—a very big step. The city is launching research into a plan to make the city’s public transit entirely free."

Monday, April 30, 2018

#Freepublictransport would work in large cities

Future Rail | Issue 61 | May 2018: "Campaigner Alexander Berthelsen doesn’t think so: “This has mostly to do with the fact that most cities that have implemented FFPT are smaller cities and thus only have buses,” he says. Berthelsen has been working on public transport and urban planning issues from an environmental and social justice perspective for over ten years, and runs the Free Public Transport website.

“I wouldn't say that the economic situation changes when talking about public transport on tracks, it's still only a question of substituting the income from ticket sales with an equal amount of money from taxes, either on corporations, land or income.” But could FFPT truly work in a crowded capital city such as London, where daily ridership is sky-high?

“I think it would work even better in a big, congested city,” Berthelsen says. “One of the reasons for introducing FFPT is to raise the modal share of public transport versus cars, which of course would yield bigger results in a very congested city compared to a smaller city that might not have problems related to car traffic on the same scale.”

He points to examples such as Paris, Brussels, Salt Lake City or Seoul, which all organised fare-free days on a temporary basis, usually in response to dangerous levels of air pollution. In January this year, Salt Lake City introduced Free Fare Friday during inversion season, a meteorological phenomenon taking place in the winter months in Utah, which leads to the trapping of pollutants in the air."

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

European cities consider making public transport free to tackle air pollution 

telegraph : "European cities are increasingly looking toward free transport in a bid to combat air pollution. "

Interview with leader of international #freepublictransport campaign

Railway Technology : "Paris, Warsaw and Brussels all had similar schemes, and in March this year, the German Government announced its intention to introduce FFPT in its most polluted cities  to cut emissions and help Germany meet its EU air quality targets.

Asked whether he believes this model would be realistic from a financial point of view – not only in Germany but everywhere else – Berthelsen is adamant: “Of course this would be realistic, it’s only a question of political will. Do we want a system where a millionaire and an unemployed person pays the same amount to use the public transport, or do we want people to pay for it in a more just way through some kind of taxation?"

Sunday, March 25, 2018

"Who is going to pay the bill?"

Paris to examine making public transport free for everyone - The Local: ""Who is going to pay the bill?" said Alexandre Vesperini, from the pro Macron PPCI group on the city council."
Public transit advocates need to be ready with a list of the cost benefits. Cars are heavily subsidized.


Autosprawl Welfare

100 reasons

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Paris mayor wants free public transport for all to reduce pollution : "“The question of free transport is one of the keys to urban mobility in which the place of pollution-causing cars is no longer central,” she asserted. “Many cities are looking into it.”"

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Jūrmala, Latvia, mulls free public transportation for locals

LSM.LV : "Locals would have to acquire a resident's card, similar to those already available in Rīga, to enjoy free rides. The scheme, which would cost Jūrmala around €600,000 a year, would make Jūrmala the second municipality to make public transportation free for its residents, after Rēzekne in Latvia's east.

The scheme operational in Rēzekne, however, provides free rides for people who earn less than 90% of the average national monthly wage. 

"The number of passengers has increased 40 to 50%.. Pupils and students have started to use this opportunity quite actively," says Rēzekne mayor Andrejs Rešetņikovs (Harmony). The scheme costs €320,000 to €340,000 for the city. "

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

German Cities To Trial Ambitious Free Public Transport Plans

HuffPost : "The university city of Tübingen, in southwest Germany, is testing free public transportation for all residents. Two weeks ago, the city began a two-year pilot project using its own funds to provide free rides on Saturdays.

For seven years, local authorities have been trying to provide unlimited public transport, free at the point of access, for a flat 15-euro monthly tax for all residents, Mayor Boris Palmer explained. To do so would require a change in law."

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Case for Free Public Transport

Global Research : "Nine Points Arguing the Case for Free Public Transport

  • Free fares would be the biggest single pro-environment policy enacted by any national government anywhere on the planet, dramatically slashing car use and CO2 emissions.
  • Free fares would be the biggest anti-poverty, pro-social inclusion policy enacted in Scotland, or anywhere else in the UK. It is mainly people on low incomes who rely on public transport
  • Free fares would cut the number of road accidents, reducing human suffering and relieving pressure on the NHS and the emergency services. The Scottish Executive estimates that road accidents cost £1.4-billion a year to the Scottish economy. (On an average day in Scotland there is one fatal road accident; another 8-10 involving serious injury; and 250-300 minor accidents. The vast majority involve cars.)
  • Free fares would be help to reduce the levels of asthma and other respiratory illnesses, which have risen steeply in line with the expansion of road traffic
  • Free fares would potentially increase the spending power of over a million workers by between £40 and £100 a month, boosting the overall economy.
  • Free fares would increase business efficiency and productivity: the CBI estimates that traffic congestion costs business across Britain between £15 and £20-billion a year.
  • Free fares would be a major tourist attraction, bringing hundreds of millions of pounds into the Scottish economy every year from increased visitor numbers. An increase in tourism of just 20 per cent would bring an extra £1-billion into the Scottish economy.
  • Free fares would attract worldwide support, especially from the global environmental movement, and would bring pressure to bear on governments throughout Europe and the wider world to adopt a similar policy.
  • Free fares would reduce Scotland’s reliance on depleting oil reserves; 67 per cent of all oil produced globally is used for transport."

Monday, February 26, 2018

Brussels air pollution to trigger free public transport : "Brussels’ regional government has approved emergency rules that will allow commuters to use public transport free of charge during periods of high air pollution, Belgian media reported on Friday (23 February).

When particulate matter reaches certain levels in Brussels, travel will be free on STIB services in Brussels and the city’s bike-sharing Villo scheme for a fixed duration of time."

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Nem mais um cêntimo para os transportes públicos "Termino com o mais importante argumento em favor de uma mobilidade tendencialmente gratuita: democratizar a cidade e alargar a qualidade de vida. Se a mobilidade não for um custo, todos os cidadãos poderão viver a cidade e os seus equipamentos em circunstâncias de igualdade. Se matarmos o custo de deslocações das escolas para as bibliotecas, dos lares para os museus, dos bairros para os campos desportivos, estamos a promover a inclusão, a igualdade de oportunidades e uma democracia mais madura.  "

Monday, February 19, 2018

Again the big lie. #freepublictransport will reduce walking.

Can free public transport really reduce pollution? | Environment| All topics from climate change to conservation | DW | 14.02.2018: "If you can take public transport for free you may substitute the short trip you used to walk for public transport. Most of the increase in public transport ridership stems from either people who walked previously, or previous transport users who travel more frequently or perform longer trips. Only a small part of those additional trips come from people who also used the car. So we cannot say that there was a net gain in terms of reducing car traffic, or the congestion and emissions associated with it."
This lie is their best one apparently. They keep using it. Where is the data? There are plenty of studies that show that public transport leads to more active transport. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Germany considers making public transport free to fight air pollution

The Local : "The German government is considering several measures for improving the quality of air in major cities, including making all inner city public transport free to use."

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Public transport firms to draw up national list of fare dodgers

SWI swissinfo : "Anyone caught without a valid ticket on public transport in Switzerland will end up on a national register from April 2019, Swiss public radio, SRF, reports. The aim of the list is to improve the coordination of fines handed out by public transport companies. "
Oil companies are desperate to get oil demand up. Terrorizing people back to cars.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Free public transport for older adults tied to less depression

Channel NewsAsia: "Researchers found that increased eligibility for a free bus pass led to an 8 per cent increase in the use of public transportation among older people, and a 12 per cent decline in depression symptoms among those who started taking the bus when they became eligible for the programme.

Among the depression symptoms that people who took up bus travel reported as reduced were “not enjoying life,” trouble sleeping, feeling unhappy, lonely, sad, not motivated or that everything was an effort, the study team notes in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health."

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Another city, Pristina, Kosovo, employs #freepublictransport against pollution

Kosovo environmentalists protest heavy pollution levels - ABC News: "Local authorities decided to ban vehicles but emergency, public cars and taxis Wednesday from driving in central Pristina, offering parking areas in the outskirts and free public transport for most of the day Wednesday. Sale of coal used for house heating has been banned indefinitely."

Thursday, January 25, 2018

How a city in Spain got rid of its cars

Citiscope : "Watching the scene, it is hard to believe that not long ago, most of the space where people now walk was devoted to the movement and parking of cars. Or in the words of the mayor, Miguel Anxo Fernández Lores, that the city was a “car warehouse”. Today, from his office on the third floor of City Hall, he can hear people talking outside instead of engines and horns. “It’s amazing,” Lores says. “14,000 cars used to pass through this street every day.”

But it’s not just the streets near City Hall that have been transformed. According to the city administration’s numbers, motor traffic in Pontevedra’s historical centre has been reduced by an unbelievable 97 percent since 1999. Traffic is down 77 percent in the areas adjacent to the centre, and by 53 percent in the city as a whole."

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Free Public Transport in Hasselt - saves money

CarFree Times Issue 7: "The Fall, 1997, issue of Carfree Times reported that Hasselt, Belgium, had made its bus system free. The mayor rejected plans for a third ring highway, converted one existing ring highway into a pedestrian and bicycle street, and made the buses free. Since then, bus ridership has increased by 800%. This initiative has been so successful in attracting new business to Hasselt that taxes have been cut and the city's debt is down. To celebrate the first anniversary of the changes, the mayor announced free bicycles. One of the reasons the measure was adopted was a shortage of funds - the city did not have enough money to expand its roads. Free buses were a cheaper alternative, and it worked. The city had been slowly losing population, but since the new measures were adopted, population has been rising 25 times faster than it had been shrinking.


[from 2007] Hasselt Celebrates 10 Years of Free Public Transport

Free Online Library: "Before

The new city council of 1995 realised that public transport was a major problem. There were only eight city buses and two lines in Hasselt before 1 July 1997, which covered about 500,000 km a year and only transported 360,000 passengers in 1996. After the renovation of the ring road around the city, turning it into a pedestrian-friendly and tree-clad 'Groene Boulevard', the city council presented an ambitious project to transport company De Lijn. With the words 'Hasselt zal nooit meer hetzelfde zijn' ('Hasselt will never be the same'), the former mayor and later minister Steve Stevaert launched free buses on 1 July 1997.


The project was an instant success. Until 30 June 1997, there was an average of 1,000 bus passengers a day in Hasselt. Today, the average is 12,600 passengers a day. There are now 46 city buses on nine lines, including a boulevard shuttle and a city centre shuttle. Two nightlines run at night. Altogether, these city buses cover 2,258,638 km in a year. All this benefits mobility in Hasselt. However, there is also a social benefit. Visits to hospitals have increased significantly. Free public transport is here to stay in Hasselt. "

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Идея бесплатного общественного транспорта в Польше становится все

Новости: "На время сезона отпусков местные власти хотят привлечь внимание жителей и гостей к объектам культуры и отдыха. Об этом сообщает газета Rzeczpospolita.В частности, сразу две бесплатные автобусные линии появились в городе Руда Сленска на юге страны. С их помощью в выходные дни можно доехать до спортивных центров и парков. Подобную идею успешно реализуют в Ченстохова. На улицах города появился белый двухэтажный автобус, билеты для поездки на котором также приобретать не нужно. В салоне есть бесплатный интернет, а также работает гид, который рассказывает пассажирам об истории религиозной столицы Польши и об объектах, через которые проходит маршрут. О популярности новой линии свидетельствуют очереди желающих."