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."