Sunday, October 13, 2019

"free public transportation" buzzing on Twitter

Monday, October 7, 2019

Does free public transportation lead to less walking? [No].

Some "planners" are saying that fare-free public transit will lead to less walking and cycling. Here is a study from VTPI that show that public transit increases physical activity. Some excerpts:
Since active transport (walking and cycling) and public transit are complements, transit travel tends to increase public fitness and health.
The 2004 American Community Survey found that consumers place a high value on urban amenities such as shorter commute time and neighborhood walkability: 60% of prospective homebuyers surveyed reported that they prefer a neighborhood that offered a shorter commute, sidewalks and amenities like local shops, restaurants, libraries, schools and public transport over a more automobile-dependent community
Described differently, high quality transit requires an integrated system that includes attractive stops and stations surrounded by compact and mixed development, good walking and bicycling conditions, reduced parking supply, and more social acceptance of non-auto travel;
Residents of transit-oriented developments tend to own about half as many vehicles, generate half as many vehicle trips, and rely on walking, cycling and public transit much more than in automobile-dependent communities (Arrington and Sloop 2009).
Similarly, Wedderburn (2013) found that in New Zealand urban areas, each additional daily transit trip by driving age (18+ years) residents is associated with 0.95 more walking trips and 1.21 kilometers (in addition to the walking trips to access transit), and reductions of two daily car driver trips and 45 vehicle-kms, approximately 5 kilometers of reduced vehicle travel for each additional transit passenger-km.
Inadequate physical activity contributes to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, osteoporosis and some cancers. Many experts consider increased walking and cycling for daily transport one of the most practical ways to increase public fitness and health (AJHP 2003). Most transit trips include walking or cycling links, so transit travel tends to increase physical activity (Devries, et al. 2018; Edwards 2008; Frank, et al. 2010; Litman 2010b). Public transit users average about three times as much walking as people who rely on automobile transport, nearly achieving the 22 daily minutes of moderate physical activity considered necessary for health (Besser and Dannenberg 2005; Weinstein and Schimek 2005; Wener and Evans 2007). Lachapelle, et al. (2011) found that transit commuters average 5 to 10 more daily minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, and walked more to local services

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Cars do more than burn petrol, much more.

A lot of "thinkers" are down-playing the fare-free public transit campaign because they look at cars solely for what they directly add to emissions.

The car is much more than that. It is the cigarette that delivers the cancer of sprawl and growth.

The US led, and the developed world followed, into a commitment to many $Trillions in hard-asset car-dependent infrastructure. People spread and grew, taking over farmland and forests.

By hard-assets, we mean built of steel and cement. This is the autosprawl nightmare.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Car tires filling the oceans with plastic

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENTThe biggest likely source of microplastics in California coastal waters? Our car tires

A new study finds that tire dust and fragments appear to be the largest source of microplastics polluting San Francisco Bay, and it is likely that the same is true for other coastal waters in California.
(David Madison / Getty Images)By ROSANNA XIASTAFF WRITER OCT. 2, 2019 8:15 AMBERKELEY —
Driving is not just an air pollution and climate change problem — turns out, it just might be the largest contributor of microplastics in California coastal waters.
That is one of many new findings, released Wednesday, from the most comprehensive study to date on microplastics in California. Rainfall washes more than 7 trillion pieces of microplastics, much of it tire particles left behind on streets, into San Francisco Bay each year — an amount 300 times greater than what comes from microfibers washing off polyester clothes, microbeads from beauty products and the many other plastics washing down our sinks and sewers.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Free is cheaper

Some of the arguments against fare-free public transportation:
  • Homeless will take over
  • Buses will be too crowded
  • Pedestrians will ride instead of walk
  • Bikers will ride instead of bike
We address most of these here.

But the biggest lie is that fare-free costs too much.

In the US, it would cost about $100 per household per year. Nationwide it would cost about $30 billion. That is not a lot of money compared to what is spent on subsidizing autos, fossil fuel, and sprawl, all of which could be reduced if vehicle miles are reduced.

When your city makes the buses fare-free, here are some the the areas you will save money.
  • police costs
  • pedestrian infrastructure
  • collisions
  • health
  • congestion
  • parking
  • noise
  • road rage
  • bureaucracy
  • fare collection and security
  • many more....
A family [in the US] would save about $100 per week if they could reduce their household by one car. They can also save on petrol and healthcare costs. They will get more exercise by walking to bus stops.

The benefits far outweigh the amount of the lost fares.

for more:

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Must-read for all scientists. Are you accepting anti-scientific theory from macro economists?

Do you mistrust the predictions of mainstream macroeconomic growth models and reject the policy prescriptions of their practitioners? Many do. 
Is this fair? And what would we do instead? 
How about using physics ? Certainly as a field it has a pretty good track-record for describing nature, at least as an alternative to religion and magic. The big thing in physics as a field or any other science is that it demands falsifiable hypotheses rather than the opinion or Ivy league pedigree of its practitioners. Results should enable useful predictions, those that offer the potential for robust long-range forecasts subject to physical constraints.
Read the post here:

Friday, September 27, 2019

Trolls are trying to create division and confusion over individual actions vs policy actions

Trolls have a new trick.

They call on people to stop eating meat, stop driving cars, etc.

If you are calling on people to do something, then that now becomes policy action. The question then becomes not what type it is, but rather whether it is effective or not.

But the trolls insist on pushing it as "individual action," they are trying to spread division and confusion.

When you engage in the public square, you are engaging in policy action.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Dunkirk, France, ridership up 60% with fare-free public transportation

An academic study on the experience shows that bus use has skyrocketed more than 60% on weekdays and more than doubled on weekends, with 48% of users saying they now leave their cars at home. Furthermore, 5% of those surveyed said they have sold their car or decided not to purchase a second vehicle. A third said that the availability of free buses means they now make trips they wouldn’t have otherwise. This increased demand is not due solely to the availability of free and convenient transportation, but also to the fact that it is frictionless: people don’t have to worry about travel cards, cash or identification.