Tuesday, January 21, 2020

What's so scary about #freepublictransit?

Why is fare-free public transit/transport treated differently from other public goods? Why must there be a user-fee?

The answer lies in understanding autosprawl. Trillions of dollars have been sunk into everything from cul-de-sacs and DIY stores, to ocean tankers and refineries. The web of liquid-fuel fixed infrastructure covers human developed habitat, and controls the flow of the entire economy.

The whole thing is leveraged in debt far beyond recovery.

When oil was cheap, too much was borrowed against the future. Now, cheap oil is draining fast. Every day it takes more joules to get a joule. So now we have super-borrowing to "pay the mortgage."

When people discover the benefits of fare-free public transit, they demand more, and then they discover the subsidy to autos and sprawl. They will reject that subsidy, and demand more fare-free public transit.

This is what has the banks and bondholders shaking in their suites.

In US, at least a dozen candidates for US Congress calling for #freepublictransit

At the blog >> https://fptpols.blogspot.com/ << we are tracking candidates and officials who favor fare-free public transit.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Thorough debunking of fares, means-testing, and #racism

Given that the pay-per-ride system for public transit is regressive, unjust, and cuts against the benefits of having mass transit even in a simplistic Econ 101 universe, there are shockingly few American cities that offer free and universal transit. Even internationally, pay-per-ride is the norm. What’s happening here? The answer is that cities around the world have been convinced that making public transit free invites only “undesirable” riders. This is disappointing to put it mildly, but I think it offers us a valuable lesson in how to approach our arguments for universalizing services.

Problems solved by having more and better public transportation

There are numerous reasons why access to public transport should be encouraged. For every $1 invested in public transport, around $4 of economic returns is generated, while a $10 million investment in public transport generates $30 million in increased business sales. People are also safer traveling on public transport, with accident risk reduced by 90% versus private transport. From an environmental perspective, public transport already saves the US 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline each year, and 37 million metric tons of carbon. As buses emit 20% less carbon monoxide and 25% fewer nitrogen oxides per passenger mile versus single-occupancy cars, public transport is also better for public health.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Irish Times -- eloquent case for #freepublictransport

Motor tax alone raised more than €981 million in 2018. If we ring-fenced motor tax to make all public transport free, such a “targeted” tax initiative would cover the cost, with €381 million left to build cycle lanes. 
The ultimate aim of these policies should be to follow Oslo’s recent example and ban all cars from our city centres. This is the future of urban living, not to mention a requirement of cutting carbon emissions. For years we have designed cities for cars, and that’s what we got: more cars. Now we have to change our behaviour and go the other way. It will take time and lots of detailed investment in more public transport. 
However, using basic economics, it makes sense to introduce a congestion charge for the privilege of driving at peak hours and at the same time to reduce to zero the cost to the commuter of public transport, financing the shortfall from motor tax, and ring-fencing what’s left of motor tax to build cycle lanes. 
If not now, when?

Friday, January 17, 2020

Mexico, State of Mexico, people protest fare hike

To the shout of “Not even one more peso to transport!”, Members of the No to the Tarifa collective and even feminist women with green scarves, spoke once again against the adjustment of more than 20% to the cost of this service in the State of Mexico.

Mexico Crude Oil: Production

Brazil spending big money to violently enforce fare-hikes

Photo: avispa.org

Here is the reason:
Brazil Oil Auction a ‘Total Disaster’ as Bidders Stay Away

For more about the long struggle for fare-free public transport in Brazil: click here.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Boston City Council President supports #freepublictransit

Free public transit is a public good

But, ultimately, the argument for free public transit is simple: it’s a vital public good. Like education, libraries, and parks, it serves the common good and not just individual desire. 
As we explained in our new, “pro-public” vision for 2020, we all benefit from things like public transit regardless of whether we use them or not. 
As Wojciech Kębłowski, a post-doctoral researcher at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, writes “You don’t have to insert coins to light an individual lamp posts on your way home at night, or pay for every minute spent in a park or library.” 
Dionisia Ramos, a 55-year-old living on unemployment while going to school in Lawrence, put it even more directly, telling the Times: “Transportation should be free. It’s a basic need. It’s not a luxury.”