Tuesday, December 15, 2009

West Dover, VT - 200,000 free rides per year

The Deerfield Valley Transit Association operates the MOOver, the best resort/community transit system in Vermont. Our trademark buses sport a Holstein motif, making the MOOver easy to "spot" and fun to ride! The MOOver is free, and this year will serve more than 200,000 riders. We provide year-round deviated fixed route and demand-response services. Deviations on the Wilmington-West Dover route are available up to ¼ of a mile upon request at least 24 hours in advance. moover.com

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Join the Campaign for Free Public Transport

While the politicians and lobbyists in Copenhagen, talked, stalled, faked, and rode in limos and private jets, the Campaign for Free Public Transport went directly to the people in Bury, England. Free Public Transport is a true solution to carbon emissions, and the campaign is supplying the main ingredients lacking in the climate talks, leadership and courage. 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's obvious - free public transit helps downtown business

..."After five it's dead," he said, referring to downtown. "In a pizza business, you need the night crowd, too."
Another problem that faces the downtown businesses right now is a lack of available parking for customers. Vines said all the parallel parking spots in front of the stores get taken up by LabCorp employees, even though there are separate lots for them to park, because they are closer to the actual buildings.
...One plan that the BDC has been talking to Elon University about is the development of a new BioBus route that would run into downtown Burlington and serve as free public transportation. Keith Dimont, the supervisor of automotive services at Elon, said that the plan has been key for students doing community service, and that the Kernodle Center for Service Learning has been instrumental in developing the plan.

"I think it's going to be real successful, because it's a lot of volunteers that like having the free public transportation," he said. "Plus, it gives (the city) the opportunity to expand the downtown Burlington area."

Though the bus route will have a strong emphasis on service work, it will be a chance for students to make the trip to downtown Burlington, where business owners said they would welcome the business. "It seems like a lot of younger people don't venture down here," said Pratt, continuing to say that she and Vines have been in talks with other businesses to offer events that would draw Elon students. ThePendulum, Elon, NC

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

U.S. going wrong way faster and faster

There are two tracks the U.S. could pursue:

1. Fight for control of fossil-fuel sources and transport routes, maximize profit, and hope for a technological miracle to save the biosphere from overheating.

2. Cut back. Invest in public transit. End sprawl.

Unfortunately the first has been chosen. It will lead to the demise of the U.S. empire, but not in time to save the biosphere. Only an international mass movement can turn this ship around.

Monday, November 30, 2009

EU - Let us shift from expensive cars to free public bus or train

The advantages of free public transit are enormous and extremely beneficial for all citizens of the European Union:
  • Drastic decrease in emission of exhaust gases
  • Less noise
  • Less traffic jams
  • Better traffic safety
  • Enormous savings in energy and raw materials
  • Creation of new jobs
  • Ascent of efficient economical development
  • Considerably lower public and personal expenses
  • Empowering of social justice
  • Higher cultural dialogue
  • Creation of friendlier urban environment
Read more at Ecohumanworld

Friday, November 27, 2009

NASA Goddard Director against Cap-and-Trade

...Vice President Al Gore, who perhaps has done more than anyone to raise awareness of climate change, is evidently deceiving himself. "I saw him on Larry King last night," says Hansen, "and what really worries me is that he sounds optimistic that we're now on a track to solve this problem." He lets out an incredulous chuckle. "We're not, however, on a track, and that's clear."...

..."There's a huge gap between their public position and the realities of their policies," he says. "That's the situation we have now in Congress," he adds, alluding to the cap-and-trade legislation that is currently being reviewed by the US Senate. He opposes the bill, in large part because of the offsets system that would allow polluters to continue spewing emissions, but also because political horse-trading has brought in provisions that will enable aging coal plants to stay in operation. The only solution, Hansen says, is to "phase out fossil fuels". And the best way to do that, he contends, is through a carbon tax — or, as he puts it, "a rising price on carbon emissions"....

...individuals cannot solve the problem. "If you reduce your carbon footprint, one of the effects is to reduce the demand, and if a lot of people do that, it makes [fossil fuel] cheaper so somebody else can burn it," says Hansen... nature.com

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Connecting People with Jobs

Autosprawl is subsidized by the whole of society, but most of the profit goes to the auto, fossil-fuel, and homebuilding industries. Many small business are hurt because their workers cannot afford a car to get to the job.
In central Texas, this problem has been recognized. The solution? Free public transit for poor workers. We hope they will see the benefits and remove fares entirely.

COLEMAN — The Central Texas Rural Transit District, or City and Rural Rides (CARR), has received a grant that will provide free public transportation for select Brown County residents.
“We were awarded a Job Access Reverse Commute program grant, which is funded by the Texas Department of Transportation,” said Adel Hunter, support service manager for CARR. “The grant is designed to help low-income workers and individuals to get to and from work, as well as dropping off any children at day care, prior to going to work or training. Brownwood Bulletin

Monday, November 23, 2009

Antarctic ice loss worse than IPCC 2007 estimate

...In 2007 the UN Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) predicted sea levels would rise 18 to 59 centimetres (7.2 to 23.2 inches) by 2100, but this estimate did not factor in the potential impact of crumbling icesheets in Greenland and Antarctica.

Today many of the same scientist say that even if heat-trapping CO2 emissions are curtailed, the ocean watermark is more likely to go up by nearly a metre, enough to render several small island nations unlivable and damage fertile deltas home to hundreds of millions.... Independent/UK via CommonDreams

Friday, November 20, 2009

U.S. Senate candidate wants free public transportation

...Robinson, who is running against state Sen. Scott Brown for the GOP nomination in the race for the late U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s vacant seat, is suggesting the MBTA bailout as part of a proposal to make all public transportation nationwide free. Robinson aides said there are cities in Washington and Oregon that offer free public transit... Boston Herald

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Join Free Public Transport Advocates in Copenhagen

The UN climate meeting, COP15 in Copenhagen, is approaching at breakneck speed and most of us lay our fears and hopes in the hands of the world leaders, wishing that they will come up with a sustainable climate agreement. But we can't afford to leave it all to them.

We want to make COP15 not only a global, but a local issue as well, because it's only through local actions we can achieve global change. We have to shift focus: from abstract percentages and climate targets to concrete political measures. A powerful climate adjustment requires comprehensive infrastructural changes in the transport sector. The key to climate adjustment is to be found in the cities, where most of the emissions are generated. Through simple reforms such as planning our cities for public transport, bicycle and pedestrian transport, we can actively reduce car traffic and cut the emission rates in our cities.

So far, the local transport sector has been sadly neglected in the climate debate, and we doubt that COP15 will produce any change in that area. It's up to us to make this important issue visible and put it on the agenda. Even though the inflation in car traffic is one of our biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions and unnecessary oil use, few cities have any serious plans to radically decrease their car traffic. 

Freeing public transport from fares would effectively create incentives for car drivers to choose public transport instead. With just a marginal tax-raise (in Stockholm, capital of Sweden, all commuters who earns less than 5000 Euros a month would benefit from this), the public transport system could be made free at the point of entry. Free public transport is one solution to pollution!

If you are going to Copenhagen in december, please join us in the pink block in the big demonstration on the 12th. And if you are not – make a demonstration at home and turn to your local politicians with demands for a radical, climate friendly transport policy with investments in public transport and zero fares!

Best wishes from Planka.nu - The Swedish free public transport group

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Campaign for Free Public Transport wins Respect

...A message to the Respect Conference from Peter Cranie, the Green Party candidate in the North West at the European Elections supported by Respect, was read out to an enthusiastic ovation. Motions on electoral alliances, supporting the People’s Charter, the political content of our election campaign and alternative strategies to deal with the economic crisis were passed... Respect agreed to affiliate to the Campaign for Free Public Transport. [our emphasis]
Campaign for Free Public Transport Website
Respect Party Website

Hi Michael - Welcome to the Free Public Transport Movement!

10 ideas to save the world (or at least to delay the collapse)
1. Higher taxes on fossil fuels, electricity and animal products
2. Decentralisation of the power generation sector
3. Free public short-distance transportation, lower prices (e.g. by waiving taxes) for trains and buses.
4. Public information campaign about climate change in TV, schools etc.
5. Labelling of consumption goods and services with their ecological footprint (or at least carbon + water footprint)
6. Subsidies, binding standards and incentives for ecological renovation of buildings
7. Cancelling subsidies for non-organic agriculture, coal mining, air traffic and other harmful industrial sectors
8. Starting a decarbonisation competition among cities and other local entities
9. Establishing a “Green GDP”
10. High taxes on luxury goods and services

The basic idea is, that polluting goods and practices become more expensive while others should be cheaper. I´m shure, additional cost (e.g. for gratis public transportation) could be compensated with higher revenues for polluting and luxury products. And not to forget the financial side effects of the suggested measures. If we, for instance, reduce private transportation, we also save money for road building and maintainance, less traffic jams save working time, less pollution and accidents help to reduce health costs etc.
Michael's Climate Blog Berlin Germany

Monday, November 16, 2009

Can we afford free public transit?

People frequently ask us, "how would you pay for free public transit?" Here is our reply: currently the price of oil is artificially low because many of the costs are externalized. Here is an example of an externalized cost:
"In many villages in the vicinity of the oil facilities, locals are not able to drink the water anymore," said Stieglitz. "Locals who drink this kind of water can get diarrhea and the subsequent dehydration of the body, which might lead to death in those areas if left untreated." read the whole article on Voice of America
If public transit were free, then demand for oil would drop precipitously. The oil suppliers would lose political power, and public policy could force them to internalize their costs. Clean drinking water would be just one of the many benefits of free public transit and would more than justify the investment.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Moldova - Free Public Transport struggle continues

On Thursday, more than 100 pensioners and invalids resumed their protest actions demanding free public transport travel in front of the City Hall.

INFOTAG, 12 November 2009, 15:32

Monday, November 9, 2009

The cost of autosprawl: stronger cyclones

Video of cyclone in Bangladesh.
Gabura :: Oxfam GB

...I think a bloc of carbon-neutral, developing nations could change the outcome of Copenhagen.
At the moment every country arrives at the negotiations seeking to keep their own emissions as high as possible.
They never make commitments, unless someone else does first.
This is the logic of the madhouse, a recipe for collective suicide.
We don’t want a global suicide pact.
And we will not sign a global suicide pact, in Copenhagen or anywhere.
So today, I invite some of the most vulnerable nations in the world, to join a global survival pact instead.
We are all in this as one.
We stand or fall together.
I hope you will join me in deciding to stand.
Address by His Excellency President Nasheed at the Climate Vulnerable Forum
Read the whole speech here...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Biofuels do more harm than good

Biofuels: Making the climate crisis worse, not better
Biofuelwatch actively supports the campaign for an EU moratorium on agrofuels from large-scale monocultures. Agroenergy monocultures are linked to accelerated climate change, deforestation, the impoverishment and dispossession of local communities, bio-diversity losses, human rights abuses, water and soil degradation, loss of food sovereignty and food security.
There is a lot of talk about replacing fossil-fuels with agricultural "renewables." It is only accelerating global warming. Follow the links above to see the evidence of this.

Instead of trying to save the autosprawl system we need a mass movement for free public transport - now.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

£40 billion more for banks - green investment goes begging

However, instead of taking over these banks entirely as it did with Northern Rock, the Government decided instead to allow these banks’ shareholders to keep their shares, giving them a financial value they wouldn’t otherwise possess. In so doing the Government effectively unnecessarily transferred many £billions of ‘taxpayers’ money directly to the value of the share portfolios of those banks’ current and former investors.

...And if such huge sums of money can be found almost at a drop of a hat to ’sort out the banks’ (the £40 billion injection today just further shores up existing investors, will not create any new jobs, but rather is to be accompanied with staff cuts) why not much smaller amounts for environmentally ‘friendly’, job creation and economically more reflationary measures such as a massively expanded public transport system that is fully integrated, publicly owned and free to everyone at the point of use, such as is being advocated by the Campaign for Free Public Transport?  socialistresistance

Saturday, October 31, 2009

UK - Money given to banks was enough for 10 years of free public transport

Members of the Greater Manchester Campaign for Free Public Transport in Oldham Town Centre Day.
We argued our case repeatedly over the loudhailer, handed out around a thousand of our latest "Case for" leaflets and got around 200 people to sign our petition.
We need to organise similar open air events throughout the country as a campaign and not just in Greater Manchester, if we are to put what we are fighting for on the political agenda.
Website       Facebook

Thursday, October 29, 2009

What is an externality?

According to Forbes Investopedia: A consequence of an economic activity that is experienced by unrelated third parties.

Fossil-fuel companies, real-estate developers, and automakers in the U.S. have made profits for years from the auto-system of human transport. Many economists have hailed the "great success" of the "American way of life." But these profits have uncounted costs - externalities. The people of Ecuador are paying for the auto-system "miracle" with higher cancer rates, a consequence of an economic activity that is experienced by unrelated third parties. read more on CommonDreams or click here for a list of autosprawl externalities.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

More Autosprawl Subsidy, Make it Stop!

GMAC is the perfect example of the unity of the auto and sprawl -- autosprawl. Now the beleaguered U.S. workers cannot afford their car-only-accessible houses, nor their car payments, they are defaulting on their loans. The autosprawl system is melting, and the taxpayer must come to the rescue. But when we say "make public transit fare-free," we hear the moron chorus  "nothing is free" " who will pay?" "cannot afford it" ... blah blah blah. Let's get a grip, America.
Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) -- GMAC Inc., the lender that received two government bailouts totaling $13.5 billion, is in talks with the Treasury Department to receive a third lifeline...

GMAC posted a $3.9 billion second-quarter loss tied to rising loan defaults, including a $727 million deficit in the auto-finance unit. The firm also offers home loans through its Residential Capital unit, which once ranked among the biggest subprime mortgage lenders....

Saturday, October 24, 2009

350 Reasons to oppose Carbon Trading

•Carbon trading puts corporate profits above stabilizing the climate• Carbon trading was initially created to make emissions reductions more affordable for corporations and other big polluters. With over 1 million species’ (including humans’) futures in question, does it not seem a bit perverse to even have corporate profitability as part of the equation for solving climate change? We need solutions that first and foremost address the climate crisis, not making it easy on those responsible for it. Read more at 350Reasons or read PDF now.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Phlippines suffer the true cost of fossil-fuels

SAN FRANCISCO - October 22 - Chevron Corporation's recent nomination to the State Department's annual Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) for its Philippine-based operations was met with opposition from US and Philippine environmentalists. In response to the nomination, FACES sent a letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging the State Department to rescind the nomination. CommonDreams

Chevron owns an oil terminal in Pandacan, an urban district in Manila. The massive Pandacan oil depot sits on over 81 acres of land and is owned by Chevron Philippines Inc. (formerly Caltex Philippines Inc.), Petron Corp., and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. Since 2004, Chevron and its partners have operated in a joint venture called the Pandacan Depot Services Inc. (PDSI).
Catastrophic spills, leakages, and explosions have sickened the community. In 2001 dozens of students at the neighboring PUP campus suffered headaches and vomiting during a gas leak. In early 2006 40,000 liters of oil leaked from the depot. In 2008 a defective tanker carrying 2,000 liters of gasoline and 14,000 liters of diesel caused a deadly explosion near the depot exit gate, alarming officials and residents. Chevron has not implemented a comprehensive warning system to alert residents of danger. True Cost of Chevron

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The cost of not having free public transit

We have tried to list all the externalities of the private auto and sprawl. But the list keeps growing and growing. People ask, "can we afford to have free public transit"? The answer is "we can no longer afford not to have it". In the article quoted below from ClimateProgress they show how NRC counts more externalized costs.
...The report estimates dollar values for several major components of these costs. The damages the committee was able to quantify were an estimated $120 billion in the U.S. in 2005, a number that reflects primarily health damages from air pollution associated with electricity generation and motor vehicle transportation. The figure does not include damages from climate change, harm to ecosystems, effects of some air pollutants such as mercury, and risks to national security, which the report examines but does not monetize... NationalResearchCouncil via ClimateProgress

Hundreds of millions of years of stored CO2 released in a few decades

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Laid-off auto workers can work on public transit

...Public transport creates 25% more jobs than the same investment in building roads or highways. At a meeting of the Policy Board of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) hosted by De Lijn from 13 to 16 October 2009 in Ghent, Belgium, worldwide leaders of the public transport sector called on governments to invest in the public transport sector. Carfree Blogosphere

Moldova - Seniors fight for free public transport

Maia Laguta, head of the Salvgardare Association and organizer of the elderly protests in the last few weeks in downtown Chisinau, announced during a press conference today that protests will resume.
The elderly are protesting a Chisinau city council decision to hike water consumption and public transportation fees, and to get rid of free public transportation for retirees. Imedia

Friday, October 16, 2009

Don't fall for road toll scam

The US system of transporting people in automobiles does not work. It has never worked. It was forced down our throats. It has caused war and environmental damage. It is has drained the economy and bankrupted the government.

Many people are coming to recognize this. They see free public transit as the way to provide some relief from the auto system.

Those who profit from the auto system are desperate to save it. They have their trolls in government do everything possible to undermine any investment in public transit.

Now they are pushing the idea of putting tolls on existing roads. Don't fall for this scam. We need plans that stop the subsidy of roads, not ones that just get the subsidy money from more places.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Why is US Military in Pipelineistan? Here is why:

China, Russia bolster ties with gas, trade deals
BEIJING (Reuters) - Russia and China bolstered their close but increasingly imbalanced relationship on Tuesday when Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ushered through a tentative gas supply agreement and deals worth $3.5 billion. Reuters

Monday, October 12, 2009

Poland: Two protests for free public transportation

Anonim, czw., 09/24/2009 - 19:37

Thursday session of city council Wroclaw was object of attack by members of Initiative for public transport. (NieKasuj - don't pay ticket)

Activists want to draw attention to this question. They went onto the room of city council but they were kicked out and told that no politician support this idea. But they received the statement with the arguments for free public transport. Then activists went away from politicians to main square in Wroclaw to give leaflets and information about campaign to people. Many people support.

Campaign was started by Wroclaw ZSP. Also some other people support this campaign. Page of campaign is http://www.niekasuj.pl/ Wroclaw took place another information action as part of campaign for free public transportation (http://niekasuj.pl). The action was organized by Wroclaw group of ZSP along with other people who go into campign.

There were the flyers given out and collected the signatures for making referendum about free transport. Many passengers supported this action and signed petition supporting referendum.

More people joined campaign. There is profile on Nasza Klasa (it's Polish version Facebook). Already more than 200 people are on it after just two weeks.

ZSP says that people are tired of bad ideas of politicians to spend money like 20 millions zloty for fountain when transport doesn't work, houses falling apart, etc.



Friday, October 9, 2009

No such thing as green cars

By now, it should be obvious that private automobiles are environmentally unsustainable. Yet many people still cling to the fantasy of “Green Cars”. Such people tend to focus only on alternative fuels and the emissions that come out of a car’s tail pipe. They ignore the fact that half the greenhouse gas and pollution a car will emit during its lifetime is created in its manufacture and disposal …and in the manufacture and maintenance of the roads on which it travels. The plastics in a car’s body, interior and tires, the steel in its frame, the lubricants it uses, and the asphalt and concrete it drives on all require petroleum to manufacture and maintain. Andy Singer on CarfreeNetwork

Don't spend your holiday looking for parking

Towns and cities that are trying to be pleasant and attract vacationers realize that traffic and parking are annoying. That is why around the world many beach and ski resort towns have free buses. Now the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia is joining that group. But we should be asking ourselves, if it is affordable and more pleasant, why not have free buses in our town?
Sunshine Coast Council is pushing ahead with plans to provide a new free holiday bus service to ease congestion and parking problems during the busiest time of the year.
...The concept has won strong support from local business and tourism groups, who say traffic gridlock around some holiday hot spots during the Christmas-New Year period must be addressed.
...“We know it won’t completely solve the problem but it is a start and we hope it will also encourage new passengers to consider public transport as an option all year round.”
...“The Sunshine Coast is growing but putting more and more private vehicles on our roads is not sustainable,” she said.mysunshinecoast.com
new blog: Fare-Free Australia

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Brazil - Movimento Passe Livre

Movement Free Pass (MPL) is a Brazilian social movement fighting for a real public transportation outside the enterprise. One of the main political movement is the migration of the system of private transport to a public system, ensuring universal access through the free pass to all sections of the population. Today, the MPL or deepen the debate on the right to come and go, on urban mobility in cities and on a new transport model for Brazil.GoogleTranslate

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Highways unsafe, government broke

After USD billions of subsidy, the private auto system is still congested and unsafe. Engineers are warning that road and bridge repairs are urgently needed.

Oops, the government is broke. The taxpayer can no longer afford the private auto subsidy: roads and highways, energy wars, climate disruption, congestion, sprawl, collisions, parking, drainage, etc.

When you are out of money, it is a good idea to stop wasting it.

Russian Pensioners Demand Free Public Transport

IZHEVSK, Russia -- A few thousand elderly people in the western Russian city of Izhevsk have protested a decision to abolish free public transportation services for pensioners, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.
The Izhevsk City Duma ended free public transport for pensioners as of October 1.
An estimated 2,000 protesters blocked a major street in the city for more than two hours on October 5, demanding that local officials meet with them to discuss the issue.
No one from the city administration came to meet with them.
The demonstrators told RFE/RL that they are planning another protest on October 24.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Eğitim-Sen: “Transportation is a right and cannot be impeded,” “We demand ... free transportation.”

In a protest Saturday, a group of members from education trade union Eğitim-Sen walked barefooted down Istiklal Avenue in Taksim, protesting the IMF and World Bank. The group carried banners reading, “Transportation is a right and cannot be impeded,” “We demand free education, job security and free transportation.”
Representing the group, Hatun İldemir from Eğitim-Sen said IMF and World Bank policies made fundamental public services, such as education, health, housing and transportation, a market good. İldemir demanded that the government re-evaluate who in society is eligible to benefit from free public transportation. Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review

Travel doesn't need to cost the earth

In the early 1980s, the Greater London Council under Ken Livingston slashed fares and began to move towards free public transport. The policy was backed by 71 per cent of Londoners, but was destroyed by the Thatcher government and the Law Lords, backed by the car, haulage and oil industries.
Within a year, ticket prices in London had doubled, car journeys had rocketed and there was an extra 6000 accidents on the city’s roads. A similar policy in South Yorkshire under David Blunkett was similarly torpedoed.
That was before global warming and the dangers of greenhouse gases became widely accepted by scientists. Twenty years on, our towns and cities are heading towards permanent gridlock and scientists are pressing the panic buttons. And the idea of free public transport is starting to make a comeback. Read more

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Spain - A chance to fight climate change

Transporte público gratuito, una baza para luchar contra el cambio climático
El mercado no funciona bien a la hora de fijar los precios del transporte ya que no está internalizando los costes externos negativos que genera, lo que en la práctica supone una subvención indirecta a los medios más contaminantes: el avión, responsable del 14% de los costes externos, y el transporte por carretera, responsable del 84%. Esta situación favorece su uso ya que, o bien son asumidos por quienes los padecen, sin haberlos producido, o se pagan por el sector público. daphnia

Friday, October 2, 2009

Aubagne, France - Dramatic ridership increase with free public transport

Les premiers chiffres le confirment largement : la gratuité des bus de l’agglo lancée le 15 mai engendre, semaine après semaine, une augmentation exceptionnelle du nombre de voyageurs.
Depuis sa mise en place, le trafic journalier n’a cessé d’augmenter, avec une hausse moyenne de 64% fin juillet par rapport à l'an passé.
Sur les lignes régulières, la fréquentation a augmenté de 71% : alors que ces lignes transportaient en moyenne 5 100 voyageurs par jour en 2008, elles en transportent aujourd’hui presque 10,000.
Des lignes phares comme la 1 et la 3 sur Aubagne et la 6 sur La Penne-sur-Huveaune, affichent des taux de progression qui dépassent les 100 % ...
C’est dire si la gratuité a su capter un nouveau public !  agglo-paysaubagne

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Free public transportation activist jailed

HOMEL, Belarus -- The leader of the United Civic Party's branch in the eastern Belarusian city of Homel has been detained, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.
...Police confiscated the leaflets and kept Palyakou at the police station for a few hours. He was released without charge. Palyakou says police told him that the leaflets' contents would go through "checks and tests."
The leaflets were about ADS demands to restore free public transportation for pensioners, students, and handicapped people... RadioFreeEurope

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Brave Greenpeace needs to address demand side

There is no question that Greenpeace activists are brave. There is no doubt that they are bringing attention to environmental destruction. But addressing the supply side of the problem is a losing proposition. As long as there is demand, suppliers will find a way. You, dear reader, can address the demand side by fighting for free public transit in your town or city, or by contacting us to be a blog contributor.

Demise of U.S. Empire will not save human race

The U.S. Empire is sinking and will fall a surely as the tides come and go. But if you are counting on that to save the biosphere from carbon saturation, do not get your hopes up. The international auto industry, though back on its heels at the moment, is still strong and poised to grow exponentially in numbers of sold units.

The auto system is based on waste and subsidy. It cannot exist otherwise.

If we do not stop subsidizing the auto-system of transport, we will continue with waste, pollution, and energy wars until there is no human race.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Earth Overshoot Day

Earth Overshoot Day marks an unfortunate milestone: the day when humanity begins living beyond its ecological means. Beyond that day, we move into the ecological equivalent of deficit spending, utilizing resources at a rate faster than what the planet can regenerate in a calendar year. GlobaFootprintNetwork
The human race is using up the resources necessary for its own survival. This is bad enough. But worse, most of that use is just waste. So-- wouldn't it be nice if there were a low-tech, immediately available, practical, politically palatable way to reduce waste? It just so happens that there is. Take the fares off urban public transportation. This will gradually eliminate the private auto and at the same time make efficient urban living more pleasant. You should join us and become a free public transport advocate.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Changzhi County, China - Buses are now free

...the public free of charge by bus Changzhi County, is to enter the market operating mechanism framework, the government subsidy is only rated only. "Free Bus" Although the increase in government spending, but the development of a good public transport system, the ultimate aim is not profit, but rather to provide convenient services to carry social responsibility. Public transport industry has a clear public interest functions...Xinhuanet-SourceJuice
also - ChinaReviewNews

It is simple math in Sydney, Australia

...Glazebrook estimated that the real cost to the community of Sydney’s reliance on private transport was more than $41 billion in 2006. About half of this was borne by the user — $18 billion was borne by the public.

Glazebrook puts the real cost of car use at 86 cents per passenger-kilometre, when all externalities are factored in. The real cost of train travel is only 47 cents for the same distance, said a study he published on March 19.

Replacing each passenger trip by car with train travel saves society almost half the resources and creates half the pollution. But how do we encourage people to make the switch?

In 1996, the Belgian city of Hasselt made public transport free. Between 1996 and 2006, usage of public transport increased by as much as 1300%.

In Sydney, making public transport free would cost the state government about $1 billion a year.GreenLeftAustralia

[see also the new blog: Fare-Free Australia]

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How to save the biosphere - Free Public Transport

In celebration of the World Carfree Day and the European Mobility Week we are today very proud to present our first English report. Travel doesn’t have to cost the earth is a translation of a report we released in Swedish last November. The report presents five concrete steps towards a climate-smart and fair transport sector in Stockholm.Download the full report here [.pdf] .

Survey: Majority want free public transit

A majority of people would like to see public transport funded entirely by taxes, meaning individual users wouldn’t have to buy tickets.
That’s according to a new survey, commissioned by the magazine Reader’s Digest Suisse, whose editors said they wanted to test the perception that most people wouldn’t go so far as to back so-called ‘free’ public transport.
The study found that 51 percent of people overall thought using taxes to fund buses, trams, trains and boats would be a good move.
Supporters of the idea argue that public transport already gets two thirds of its funding from public funds, so why not all of it? Opponents say wealthier people would have to pay more while poorer sections of the population would be the ones to benefit. WorldRadioSwitzerland

Today is World Car-Free Day

Every September 22, people from around the world get together in the streets, intersections, and neighbourhood blocks to remind the world that we don't have to accept our car-dominated society.Link

Monday, September 21, 2009

"Buses Should be Free" - New UK youth group

Buses Should Be Free is a campaign group on Facebook based on trying to make buses free. We are here to stand up to what we believe in, and that's making buses free for certain age groups and some other members of the public.

We stand for making buses free for:

Kids (Under 16)
Students (Over 16, in full-time education)
People who have been made redundant within 12 months
Old Age Pensioners (OAP's) that are living only on their pensions
and The Disabled (Wheelchairs, blind, Exec.)

Website  Twitter

Friday, September 18, 2009

Poland - Campaign for free public transport

Sept. 16 was the official start of the campaign for free and good public transport initiated by the local section of ZSP in Wroclaw. Hundreds of leaflets were given out and signatures were collected on a petition. Many people, including transport workers, stopped to discuss and debate the ideas. A-infos
If you are involved in this please contact us with more info - info@freepublictransit.org or post your link in the comments, thanks.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hasselt bans cars for mobility week (think about it)

This is the eighth year in a row for Mobility Week and Hasselt has been an avid participant since the idea's inception.
Since 2002, Hasselt has banned cars for the duration of Mobility Week and has fallen back instead on its well-developed bus system. But Hasselt is different from other municipalities in Belgium and elsewhere because, since 1997, this city of 70,000 has been offering public transportation free of charge to anybody wishing to use it – and not just during Mobility Week. deutsce-welle

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Center for Public Integrity investigates the transportation lobby

On Wednesday, September 16th, The Center for Public Integrity will begin to release a series of reports detailing the inner workings of the transportation lobby, and profiling the interests, industries, and constituencies seeking to influence transportation policy. CPI

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fossil-fuel trolls do master's bidding in Senate

Do you need any proof that public transit is the achilles heel of the fossil-fuel industry? Just watch as their trolls in the U.S. Senate go to work to try to stop the least of trickle of public transit investment. While both political parties can't throw money fast enough at highways, auto companies, and oil wars. for more see Transportation for America.

The U.S. Federal government is too easy for a corporate cabal to control. The best way to fight back is to implement free public transit in your local home town.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cars cause unnecessary trade fight

The U.S. economy is being dragged down by autosprawl waste. Now, a completely unnecessary fight ensues with China over tires and auto parts. It is time to stop subsidizing the autosprawl system and invest in public transit. The U.S. has a choice, cars or people, what will it be? [story in Wall Street Journal]

Sunday, September 13, 2009

South Salt Lake - Lack of service unfair to handicapped

It very Frustrating that I cannot take a Bus to the only Fabric Store in the City of South Salt Lake, also can't take a Bus to the only Post Office and Drug Store.

Utah Transit Authority has good bus service in down town Salt Lake City, in the Avenues and at the University of Utah. UTA has Flushed the Bus System down the Toilet in the rest of Salt Lake City County.

I wish Elected and People running for Election would take time to care about the Disabled and Elderly and Individuals that do not have a Vehicle.

There needs to be Accessible Vans and Small Buses to go into Neighborhoods to the Main Bus Routes and to Trax. Increase the Frequency of Buses and Lower Fares and also Charge for Parking at Park and Ride Lots, to Help Increase Ridership on Buses.

This would Help reduce COSTS and NEED for Paratransit. This would Help reduce Traffic Grid Lock. This would reduce Traffic Grid Lock. This would be Transportation for all. Also Help out our ENVIRONMENT.

I am Paratransit approved I only use it went I really need it, I want Paratransit to be affordable for the individuals that need all the time. I enjoy the regular bus system it give Freedom and I like making new friends. CatmeowTransit

Friday, September 11, 2009

Public Transit Saves Lives

...when compared to the number of fatalities on America’s roads, public transit appears to wrap passengers in bubble wrap. For a culture that is obsessed with safety, it is unfortunate that public transportation discussions do not more frequently cover safety.... TheTransitPass

Acidentes de trânsito são a principal causa de mortes de jovens entre 10 e 24 anos, de acordo com um estudo realizado por pesquisadores da Austrália, Grã-Bretanha e Suíça a pedido da Organização Mundial da Saúde (OMS). BBCBrazil

Thursday, September 10, 2009

How much health-care could we buy if...

We stopped wasting money on the private auto.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumers in the Cincinnati Area spent $7,318,876,000.00 on transportation in 2003.
Transportation spending is more than consumer spending on:
Health Care; . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . $2,357,387,000.00
Entertainment; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2,091,539,000.00
Apparel and Services; . . . . . . . . . . . $1,635,368,000.00
Education; . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . $ 786,467,000.00
Life and Other Personal Insurance . . . . . $ 324,254,000.00
Combined . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $7,195,015,000.00

...By investing in increased public transportation we can help our region’s working families get the transportation and access to jobs they need while spending less. CincyStreetcar Blog

Friday, September 4, 2009

Colomiers, France - 38 Years of Free Public Transport

In 1971, the City of Colomiers innovated and astonished by offering a service transit free. 37 years later, Colomiers claiming more than ever its commitment to the principle of free transport. And if the buses are also appreciated by the people is that the service has adapted to the needs of users and the changing city.

...With 7 lines and one million passengers each year, the Department of Transportation Colomiers has become over the years a real bus network structure, which covers most of the urbanized area of the town.

Ville de Colomiers

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Watauga County, NC free bus system growing

Watauga County’s free public transportation system, AppalCart, reported a 15 percent increase in overall ridership from August of 2008 to August of 2009.
According to AppalCart’s director, Christopher Turner, the addition of a second bus on the Orange Route this year made the biggest difference. The second bus added 2,437 passenger trips and 739 miles of service. The Express Route and the POP105 Route experienced the largest increase in ridership last month. Updated route information is available at www.AppalCart.com.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

We can no longer afford to charge for public transit

Can we afford to provide all this free to everyone? Of course we can, it is merely a question of political priorities. Besides which, given the worsening effects of climate change and its threat to all of humanity - can we afford not to? read more...

Monday, August 31, 2009

Wild fires likely to spread due to global warming

The glow after the fires burned through Acton, California. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images via the Guardian

VIENNA (Reuters) - Wild fires are likely to be bigger, more frequent and burn for longer as the world gets hotter, in turn speeding up global warming to create a dangerous vicious circle, scientists say.
..."An increase in fire may be the greatest early impact of climate change on forests," Brian Amiro from the University of Manitoba said late on Wednesday...Reuters 17-April-2008

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fares exist to support the oil companies

Authorities, raising prices for public transport, hypocritically pretend that they are forced to do it, because no other choice. In fact, the situation is different: the oil tycoons and their associated business structures are not satisfied that received windfall from the sale abroad of oil, which, incidentally, was once a national treasure and because they received during the illegal privatization. They want to sell at a profit oil and the domestic market. And our state on behalf of the city government gives them this opportunity, raising prices for public transportation...
redeurasia via google translate

Friday, August 28, 2009

Fares hurt our investment in transit

Austin Buses : Fare Hike Means More Traffic, Pollution

The average Austin household contributes $450 per year to Capital Metro. Most people don't ride the bus. So what is it that non-riders are paying for? The few altruistic Socialists believe that low income residents deserve mobility, but the rest of us are paying for two things: less traffic congestion and the cleaner air that should result from less cars on the road. A great value in an ideal situation. Unfortunately, our transit authority fails to deliver. When they raised fares at the beginning of 2009, it resulted in over 1,000,000 fewer trips in the first six months... RagBlog

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Free Public Transit in Tennessee

Why should local and state governments subsidize public transportation -- or even pay the full cost so that people can ride for free?

Simply to ease the pressure to build more roads and streets, which cost a lot more than a few more buses and become congested almost as soon as the new asphalt is laid.

Buses, trains, trolleys and the like also foul the air less than personal automobiles on a per-passenger-mile basis. They burn less fossil fuel. The community's ability to attract new industry and create jobs is directly related to air quality and the community's standing with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Plus, the American Public Transportation Association says the average American commuter paying the full fare saves more than $9,500 per year by choosing public transportation over driving.

If the average West Memphis commuter saves anything close to that, it's no wonder rides on West Memphis routes average more than 20,000 a month.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Over 12,900 Americans vote for free public transit

That's right. The people of Whidbey Island, WA, USA, are voting 54-45 % for a TAX INCREASE to keep their free bus system on the Island. The fossil-fuel trolls and the anti-tax crowd were unable to dissuade them. These wise people will get their money back many times over in return for their wisdom. Public investment is out there for everyone to criticize. But the true costs of the auto system, the annoying noise, parking problems, congestion, collisions, oil-wars, carbon emissions, etc., etc., are not publicly accounted and hence require a little thinking to understand. Congratulations to the wise people of Whidbey Island.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Monterey-Salinas transit should be fare-free

Subsidies could make MST free public transit

This is about reconceptualizing "leading, advocating, and delivering quality public transportation" (the official mission of Monterey-Salinas Transit). In a typical public bus transit system there are costs attendant to the collection, security and accounting for fare receipt money, the maintenance of fare-gathering boxes, and the printing, selling and checking of passes, ID cards, etc. There is driver distraction also. These costs would not be incurred in a comprehensive transit system where the fare boxes were eliminated and anyone could ride free of charge. Our local Monterey-Salinas Transit would only need to be subsidized the final 28.2 percent, and not even that much would be needed!

The corresponding savings of all the passengers who would not be fueling cars and trucks would mean more transportation was being obtained for the amount of propane, gasoline and diesel fuel coming into the market area. Could anyone forward this idea toward where analysts could determine its feasibility?

-- Charles Wilson Monterey [CA] [letter toMontereyHerald]

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

APTA - Dump the Pump - video contest

Continuing on the success of various video contests related to the June "Dump the Pump" day, the American Public Transit Association has started its own contest ending September 18th. Click for details.

Monday, August 17, 2009

"Nothing is free" - not true

Carbon dumping has been free for years. But no one seems to know it.

Discourse on economic issues in the U.S. has been deliberately reduced to selfish myopia. How so? Think about it. If you are say, the fossil-fuel industry, and you have not one economic benefit to offer, how will you keep your government subsidies from being cut by an aware and awakened public? You have to cobble together a coalition of the willing, a collection of selfish interests and try to drown the debate in confusion and doubt.

We often hear the phrase "nothing is free". This is a red-flag warning us of a possible fossil-fuel troll. Because for their industry, dumping carbon into the atmosphere has been free for years, but they think you are not smart enough to see that and you will reduce your thinking to small, narrow, economics.

Friday, August 14, 2009

L.A. Bus Riders' Union aims for fare-free buses

As local transit agencies cut much needed service and raise fares, despite the obligation the U.S. has to reduce green house gas emissions to curb global warming, forces in the world are calling for the restriction of auto use and working to implement policies to invest in a sustainable mass transit. Critical factors that shape the BRU’s programmatic demands – auto restriction, bus-centered system with bus only lanes and fare reductions as a means to free fares – ... Los Angeles Bus Riders' Union

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Harvey Milk was Free Transit Advocate

Anyone that saw Milk speak knew one thing: no matter what, he wanted gays and lesbians to have hope. He wanted them to remain hopeful that things can, would and will change if we care enough to change them. He wanted everyone on the bus, championing causes like affordable child care facilities, free public transportation, a board of civilians to oversee police, neighborhood issues, family issues. He wanted his hope to be infectious, and maintained humor by pranking public officials like Diane Feinstein and the mayor and being often outrageous on television or in person in some way. HuffingtonPost

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Havre, MT - New free bus service

The bus service will provide free busing from Havre to the Fort Belknap Agency and Box Elder and communities in between, and provide transportation to and around Great Falls a couple of times a week.
...Becky Farr of Opportunity Link, the Havrebased anti-poverty organization that wrote the grant applications and had been spearheading the drive to create a free public transit system, said a celebration for the first day of operations is being organized. ... HavreDailyNews.com

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Edmond, OK, new free bus service

Oklahoma has long been a vassal-state of the fossil-fuel industry. Now in Edmond, seniors are no longer confined to quarters. A new fare-free bus service has brought freedom.

"It is a miracle,” said Virginia Samuels. "It is wonderful.”
"It gives me a lot more independence,” said Joyce Hoover. "We could go somewhere every day.”
They are riding Route 1 that runs every 30 minutes from Festival Market Place, the temporary bus terminal, to Walmart, and back.
In the first month of operation, Citylink averaged well over 200 passengers a day, said Shannon Entz, the city’s transit project manager. NewsOK

Monday, August 10, 2009

Must Read: Passionate defense of Whidbey Island free buses

...Even if Island Transit said right now that they wanted to charge fares, they couldn't afford to implement it without a major cash infusion. If people are this ticked about this tiny amount, how would they feel about them asking for much more? Having money on a bus increases security risks, increases delays (and believe me, people will go NUTS over even a three-minute delay - just absolutely NUTS), and charging fares also causes increased costs not only in equipment, but also in administrative personnel. I think it will drop ridership some, but not to the degree it has been projected.
Even still, the small amount the fare would raise would be negligible, and I have reviewed the facts and figures provided and done some of my own research. It might, in a few years, might help Island Transit break even. It will never bring them extra funds. This is a service to us, it isn’t done to make anyone money.... Letter to the Editor - South Whidbey Record

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Global warming, you can fix it.

See this picture? The same thing that is killing bicyclists, clogging commerce in your city streets, killing your town center with parking headaches, wasting energy, causing wars--the same thing is causing global climate disruption. The private auto. The time is now to do something. Do not think major storms will move national governments to action. They will not go against their masters. It is up to us. In your town, make public transit free. You can do it for 60 basis points of tax. The benefits are immediate and long-term. Educate all children, rebuild your town center, give the suburbs to the organic farmers.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Economic race, first city without cars, wins.

Traffic in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Bangladesh suffers from both direct auto-system pain, and indirectly from auto-system global warming from developed countries. It is time to turn the ship around. The auto is DEAD economics. Photo from Suitable Environment.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Zombie Highways

They're federal highway programs that keep going long after their original purpose has been fulfilled, gobbling up billions in tax dollars and laying down hundreds of miles of blacktop. They're zombie highways. PBS looks at a $3.3 billion proposed road around Birmingham, AL. Environmentalists don't want it, residents of the area where it's being built don't want it, even the Mayor of Birmingham doesn't want it. But because a group of business interests pushed for it, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) inserted it into a transportation bill -- which means that taxpayers nationwide will foot most of the bill. Transportation experts say it's the wrong road at the wrong time in the wrong place -- and that it symbolizes what's wrong with the way we build roads in this country. It's also devouring subsidies that smart-growth proponents say could be better spent on public transit. But is there any way to kill a zombie highway? PBS Blueprint America [On TV - PBS Newshour - Aug 6th and 7th.

Laguna Beach free trolley "too successful"

... last summer, ... total ridership of 460,692 passengers, according to the report.

...Crystal Dodd, originally from Germany but now hailing from Yorba Linda, took a "mini-vacation" with five other friends while their husbands were fishing in Alaska. "Traffic is horrible, parking is horrible so when we get here we just don't drive," she said. The ladies are planning on making their trip an annual soiree.

..."The more people we have in them, the more we're achieving our goal and that is to get people out of their cars," Iseman added. "Now the community recognizes it's something for all of us. People are so used to struggling to find a place to park that they've figured out they can take the trolley. It's an instant relaxer." ... LagunaBeachIndependent

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New York Mayor proposes free buses.

Folks... this is a huge breakthrough. We have documented in the past that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg advocates free public transit, but now he has made a specific proposal. Read more on Streetsblog. He will be attacked for this proposal of course. A fossil-fuel industry which can get the U.S. government to invade a country is not going to fear a mayor, and will attack him. They DO, however, fear a mass, united movement for free public transit. They would be helpless against it. So come out against their trolls and stand up for sensible transport policy. We need free public transit in New York City, in the U.S.A., and around the world.

Friday, July 31, 2009

We are growing

The fare-free movement is growing. We have two new blogs now:

Fare-Free Philly for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Fare-Free New Zealand for all of New Zealand.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sri Lanka plan to expand public transport

..."If 10 percent of passengers were transferred to public transport, 200 million dollars will be saved per year," Kumarage told a forum on public passenger transport ahead of a summit of south Asian leaders in Colombo...
....Traffic congestion is constantly increasing as more and more people buy vehicles...
...A public passenger transport system which is comfortable and competitive will reduce the daily use of private vehicles and eventually reduce environmental pollution....
...In the early years, its tram cars and railroads were on par with the best found elsewhere with the Ceylon Transport Board one of the world's largest state-owned bus services at the time.
"We are attempting to put right something that has been neglected probably for well over 30-40 years, giving public passenger transport its due place in the economy," Kumarage told reporters.... LankaBusinessOnline

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dramatic ridership increase with free transit in French towns

En Castres, a raíz de la entrada en vigor de la gratuidad, el número de personas que utilizaron el autobús para sus desplazamientos aumentó un 76%, mientras en la vecina población de Mazamet, el aumento fue espectacular y alcanzó un 186% más de pasajeros.La iniciativa fue idea del alcalde de Castres que es a su vez el responsable de transportes de la comunidad Castres-Mazamet. ladyverd.com

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Live free or drive

A small group of Nigerian guerrillas are costing the oil market 1 million barrels a day. The fossil-fuel industry and the national governments and armies they control cannot protect their sprawling infrastructure. Pipelines, shipping routes, pumping stations, are too spread out, too exposed. Consequently they MUST seek totalitarian control of large regions of Africa, the Middle East, and the Caspian region. Failing that they are settling for chaos to at least keep rivals at bay.
For peace-loving earthlings, wringing our hands over the trampling of human rights, as long we keep driving cars, things are going to get worse. We can protest all we want, but as long as we tolerate the private auto we continue to spread terror and forge our own chains.

We have a simple choice: live free or drive.

[reference: xinhuanet]

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

German auto subsidy documented

...Every year local governments in Germany are estimated to spend some €15 billion on their car traffic. Only between 15% and 45% of these costs are recoveredby, for example, parking fees and contributions from regional and national government. The remainder is the equivalent of € 100 – € 150 for every citizen paid from the local authority budget. Results from other European cities indicate comparable subsidies. In the Austrian City of Graz, the net spending for car transport is double the amount contributed to their public transport system.... 2005 I.C.L.E.I

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Carfree Town to be built in Kentucky

I will build a carfreetown in the golden triangle of Kentucky.

The town will have 3 major tenets.

  • It will be car free. People who cannot drive will be first class citizens.
  • It will be affordable. It won't be cost prohibitive for people who could benefit the most from a carfreetown.
  • Law & order will rule the day. People with special needs and the elderly are vulnerable populations. Crime will not be an issue in Carfreetown. Carfreetown will enable both of these groups to fully unleash their contributions to society.

The town will resemble European towns with commercial enterprises on the lower floors and residences on the upper floors. Public transportation routes will be incorporated into the town's design. While commercial (services, banking), retail and restaurant enterprises will be major components of the town, an important feature will be the manufacturing plants that will be on the outskirts of town. Also, agriculture and agricultural tourism will be important to many residents of the town and will be strongly supported.

The town will offer a high quality of life for ALL its residents.

Chris Noll, Founder, Carfreetown

Friday, July 17, 2009

Chicago - ease traffic - make CTA fare-free

We have been reminded by "Are you paying too much on the CTA? Fare changes muddy an already complex menu of options for area commuters" (Page 1, July 6) of how complicated and otherwise troublesome the Chicago Transit Authority fare structure is. We can be encouraged by this article to wonder what would happen if CTA service should be made available to everyone without charge. More of us would be encouraged to use public transportation, thus easing both automobile traffic and urban pollution. Some of the expenses of routine operation of the system would be reduced if fares did not have to be dealt with. How the community would finance such a civilized and civilizing public service, like the sidewalks, public schools and streetlights, that it routinely provides could be worked out properly by sensible citizens. Chicago, by such an innovation, could become celebrated worldwide for promoting thereby a lively sense of community among its inhabitants. ChicagoTribune.com - letters
-- George Anastaplo, professor of law, Loyola
University of Chicago

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pipelineistan - Chaos and pain until ...

The great powers will fight over Pipelineistan until the oil and gas run out, or we stop wasting energy and control growth. Right now, the U.S. has the largest military commitment and is losing badly. You know what this means, more nuclear blackmail for nations, and endless terrorizing of the local people. Pipelines and related oil and gas infrastructure are particularly hard to secure, consequently total control of the population is necessary.
So, what to do? Join your local transit advocacy group. Start free public transit in your town. It is being done in cities and towns of all sizes now. Don't waste your time petitioning national governments, they are owned by the fossil-fuel industry. When free transit spreads from town to town, city to city, we can gradually reduce the wasteful autosprawl system.

-- more info on Pipelines: Pepe Escobar, Asia Times
-- also FPT Website
-- also CommonDreams

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Here's an idea: Let Wall Street manage the biosphere.


Carbon cap-and-trade is complicated... kind of like credit default swaps, and structured investment vehicles. It has been tried for years in the EU and there is a voluntary-cap exchange in the US. Guess what? NO PROGRESS. Twenty years from now we will be bailing out Goldman Sachs again when the carbon-market bubble bursts. Save this post and check back.

If you want to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions, do the following: join the movement for free public transit. Don't wait for national governments, the fossil-fuel industry has made sure to control them. But they can't control every municipality. Your town can implement free public transit for 60 basis points of tax. The benefits are immediate and you will get that money back many times over.

Listen to Elizabeth Warren on PublicRadio

see also Michael K. Dorsey in the LATimes

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cars bite the hand, traffic chokes Saudi Arabia

...There is no doubt that there is a beneficiary (or beneficiaries) of the disappearance of the urban mass transit, and there are those affected by it. I consider that the disappearance of the collective means of transport and a crime against our cities crowded with cars and strangulated, the number of cars has become more than a small number of people, this is in addition to causing severe congestion and traffic jams, and the number of accidents and traffic violations, and result in lack of people to create and increase Aspethm and nerve disorder In addition to increasing the proportion of air pollution, corruption and greater neurological and respiratory diseases in cities... alwatan via google translate

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hohhot, Inner Mongolia - plan for free buses.

Rumors abound in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia that the government is considering making some or all of the nearly 100 bus lines fare-free. Incredibly, one of the arguments against is that the buses will become crowded. We keep hearing this. It just shows how bankrupt and brainless is the anti-public transit argument. Xinhuanet.com

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hasselt - 12 years of free transport bliss

Until 30 June 1997, there was an average of 1,000 bus passengers a day in Hasselt. Today, the average is 12,600 passengers a day. There are now 46 city buses on nine lines, including a boulevard shuttle and a city centre shuttle. Two nightlines run at night. Altogether, these city buses cover 2,258,638 km in a year. All this benefits mobility in Hasselt. However, there is also a social benefit. Visits to hospitals have increased significantly. Free public transport is here to stay in Hasselt. UrbanRemark

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cars killing NYC commerce

on a weekday, the average car driven into Manhattan south of 60th Street causes a total of 3.26 hours of delays to everybody else. Reuters.com

see also Planetizen

Monday, July 6, 2009

Free buses bring Chapel Hill livability award

Triangle Business Journal - ...The plan worked. Ridership on Chapel Hill transit has more than doubled since fares were eliminated – going from 3 million in 2002 to a projected 7 million this year....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

India - The case for free public transport

....If governments can spend billions of dollars bailing out corporations, they can surely spend a few million dollars on taking steps to drastically reduce the number of private vehicles on the roads, as that would sharply reduce global warming which is pushing the world towards catastrophic conditions. In fact, the need of the hour is to make public transport entirely free. The benefits are huge. Leave aside the consequent drastic improvement in quality of life due to improved air quality, no congestion, huge open spaces even in cities which can then be converted into gardens, peace of mind due to drastic reduction in risk of accidents, all of which cannot be measured in monetary terms; for a country like India, this is also a very viable proposition commercially. For, the foreign exchange savings, savings in oil consumption, and savings in medical bills from improved air quality and reduced accidents will be far more than the cost of providing this free transport.... Lokayat