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. ...

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.