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."