Tuesday, October 14, 2008

U.S. House candidate for free public transportation

Free public ground transportation. Suppose we taxed ourselves and picked up the fares for all mass transit, freight and people, traveling on the ground. Suppose we set standards for efficiency and environmental impact, standards that today’s trains and buses could meet, but standards that would become more stringent from year to year. Free trips anywhere in the USA for anybody riding or shipping by qualified conveyance.


Instead of upping subway fares, New York City would scrap them altogether. Goodbye, turnstiles. Good-bye, fare machines. Get on and go. Cars would stay in the driveway. Trucks would disappear from the roads, at least for long hauls. At half-a-buck a mile by car, people would get on board the trains and buses in millions. The skies would clear, of airplanes and of pollutants. Commerce would benefit. In fact, new kinds of commerce would arise just because of the increase in social travel, as opposed to isolation motoring and the attendant road rage we enjoy now. The pressures of social disequilibrium–resulting from such forces as immigration, natural disaster, unemployment–would be reduced, as displaced people were empowered to go where the work is, ride with the rest of us, and go back home when it pleased them to do so. Holders of airline, fuel and automotive assets would suffer. Tough. Too expensive, you say? What’s expensive is each one of us pushing a ton of steel around to get from place to place. Fournier for Congress

1 comment:

Adron said...

That analysis is probably the least grounded in reality I've ever read.

Free transport would be relegated even more to only those that are poor enough to need to use it. More people would be encouraged and the "choice rider" that transit systems seek would disappear. Either to cars or other alternatives. Transit would become the most disgusting for of transportation possible - and it already has issues with filth.

Are you really sure you want fareless transit for the US? Aside from that, with the increased demand, how high would taxes have to be? How high would the induced demand go? We can barely afford to run transit as it is with the fares being collected, how would we fill the multi-billion dollar gap left if we rid ourselves of fares? How would we even manage a semblance of supply and demand?

Free transit is equal to freeways. Instead of traffic jams on the road we'd just have traffic jams on transit.

I'd prefer people paid for their use. Then I know if I buy a damn seat, I'll get a seat. How about you?

If we made transit fareless we migth as well just remove all the seats, realy - ALL THE SEATS and make it standing room only.

In addition to that toss some shower heads in there and everyone can ride naked. Get a free shower and clean up the disheveled masses.

Anyway, I doubt any of this fare-less nonsense really catches on, but trying to perpetuate it is just a bad idea.