Sunday, February 2, 2014

#Free transit campaign can only be from the grass roots

We will get no help from high-profile personalities. The oil industry is too desperate and too powerful. They put Rod Blagojevich in jail for 14 years after he won free transit for all seniors in Illinois. They crushed the mayor of San Diego in similar fashion. They attack with criminal charges and more importantly a corporate media campaign of mud slinging. If the president of the U.S. goes against them they will bring him down in a matter of days or weeks. Many mayors and urban planners have spoken up for free transit, then they suddenly go quiet on the subject. They got that threatening phone call.

We must pursue this ourselves. Join your local public transit advocates and call for free transit. It is easy to make the economic case. Free transit is actually cheaper that charging fares with all the savings that ensue. Are you a "nobody?" Good. Then stay local and build a campaign that can withstand their slander.

In any case it is a difficult struggle with set-backs and successes. Tallinn, Estonia is in it's second year of free public transport. Chengdu China has made many buses free. In Bangkok, free transit survived the reign of a right-wing government. The campaign in Brazil has been going 9 years and has branches in over 8 cities. People in Spain and Mexico are seeing that public transit fares a pinch point for oil and the economy and are taking mass action against fare hikes. The campaign is gaining momentum in Poland with many small towns adopting free transport and a discussion about implementation in Warsaw.

This blog is part of the English-language network.

Click here for the international website of free public transport.

In the English-speaking world our main struggle is over sprawl propaganda and disinformation from those who profit from fossil fuel, autos, and sprawl. But we are advancing. Our reader ship is at 20,000/month and growing -- with more bloggers joining.

We have our heroes. People who have stood up and taken the heat from the oil trolls. We list them here. Please tweet us or contact us on Facebook if you want to be a blogger.

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