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.
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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 Wroclaw took place another information action as part of campaign for free public transportation ( 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
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