Thursday, August 22, 2019

"Experts" must oppose fare-free #publictransport to keep their jobs

According to Vincent Kauffmann, a professor at University of Lausanne and one of key figures in sustainable mobility, “free public transport does not make any sense.” Getting rid of tickets in mass transit is judged “irrational,” “uneconomical” and “unsustainable.” 
However, if we turn to commentators from outside the field of transport, the perspective on fare abolition changes radically. Social scientists, activists, journalists and public officials—often speaking from cities where fare abolition has actually been put to the test—fervently defend the measure.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The social, climate and health reasons for making public transportation free

From the perspective of creating sustainable, liveable cities, the dominance of private, motorised cars using the internal combustion engine (ICE) based on burning oil or diesel is a significant obstacle to be overcome. A city dominated by fossil fuel based private car-based transport is a net negative in terms of:
  • congestion (remember you are not ‘stuck in traffic, you are traffic’);
  • the large amounts urban space its requires (more roads and car parking, less shared spaces, parks, urban lakes etc.);
  • damaging impacts on the quality of life in the urban environment and the private enclosure of public space (urban space being viewed as a commons – see my previous post on this);
  • health impacts of air and noise pollution, and car accidents;
  • burdens our health care system with substantial medical costs;
  • inequality, working class areas being used as quick routes around the city, in areas where fewer people have cars; 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Denmark party calls for fare-free public transportation #freepublictransport

With congestion becoming an increasing problem in more and more Danish cities, Dansk Folkeparti (DF) wants to look into the possibility of making public transportation free.
Morten Messerschmidt, the DF spokesperson for climate issues, said the party wants to investigate the cost of making public transport free in Denmark’s four biggest cities: Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense and Aalborg. 

Saturday, August 10, 2019

From the Economist, benefits of fare-free #publictransport in Tallinn

THE BUSES are on time, the trams are shiny and new, and passengers usually get a seat. In many cities that would be remarkable enough. But in Tallinn locals are also not required to buy a ticket. In 2013 it became the world’s first capital city to offer residents free public transport. Estonia as a whole has been following suit, and last year set the ambition of becoming the first country with free public transport nationwide. Buses are now free of charge in 11 of its 15 counties.
The use of public transport in Tallinn has gone up by 10%, while the number of cars in the city centre has gone down by 10%, meaning less congestion. In the countryside, free buses aim to halt rural depopulation by boosting mobility and access to jobs.
In Tallinn higher parking fees and reduced space for cars also played a part in cutting city-centre traffic: on-street parking now costs €6 an hour, and some parking spaces and car lanes have been replaced by bus lanes. Officials say providing a free alternative allowed them to avoid a backlash when driving in the capital was made more expensive and less convenient. 

Sunday, August 4, 2019

What is so special about cars?

Countries in northern Europe are well known for socialist policies. Free healthcare, education, and plenty of other social services.

At the same time, they have the highest fares for public transport?

Why is this?

Cars hold a special place in modern capitalism. They are essential to sprawl and growth. Fare-free public transit is a direct threat.

This is why there are thousands of climate experts on social media, but precious few calling for free public transport.