Friday, October 1, 2010

fare-free would "create a tipping point toward more people using public transportation"

A way to realign these incentives and increase public transit use is to make all public transportation free to passengers, Erik Olin Wright, a professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, told Big Think. According to Wright, the benefits of free public transit are broader than are apparent with strict financial bookkeeping. The full value comes in a range of ancillary economic, health and ecological benefits, including:

"Reduced air pollution, including especially reduced greenhouse gases, which would help mitigate global warming."
"More efficient labor markets since it is easier for poor people to get to jobs. This is a benefit to employers for it makes it easier to hire people and it is a benefit to the people without cars who now find it easier to get jobs. But it is also a benefit to the society at large because it contributes to a long-term reduction in poverty."
"Health benefits: reduced asthma and other illnesses linked to automobile generated pollution."
"Less congestion on the highways for those who do need to drive."
big think

1 comment:

J-Lang said...

I really think this idea is well thought out! I do however believe it would take some serious realigning of transportation funds from state legislatures. As a transit driver, I know that operatic a public transportation system cost a lot of money. A good chunk of our budget does come from the fees that our passengers pay, however, we do get a lot of money from the state of Oklahoma. The problem though, lies with how much money we actualy get. I know that we do not get enough. I think a great way to increase the funding transportation systems recieve is for governments to offer grants each year to those transit systems that take steps to use energy efficient vehicles. Such as natural resource burning C&G buses.