Tuesday, March 30, 2010

No money for free public transit? Here is why:

Autosprawl wastes energy. The subsidies required to support it are so high that we are printing money to pay them. One of the biggest subsidies is the money spent fighting to control the sources and pipeline routes of  more energy. These wars cost a lot of money.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Nashville starts free bus service

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- If you're tired of all the downtown traffic, MTA is offering a way around free of charge.
Monday, MTA will start its new Music City Circuit on two routes.  One route takes riders into the heart of the Gulch. The other travels to the Farmers Market and Bicentennial Mall.
The free buses will run Monday through Saturday. They'll even tie in with the rest of the MTA network, including the Music City Star. newschannel5

Friday, March 26, 2010

Want tourists? Arthur Frommer says give them free transit

I know a way to make headlines -- positive, approving headlines -- for tourism to the U.S.A. It involves announcing a major gift to foreign visitors that would dramatically display our regard for them. It would cost nothing, require only a small amount of effort on the part of public officials, and would be infinitely more effective than all the overseas advertisements and TV commercials to be funded by the new Tourism Promotion Act recently passed by Congress...
Arthur Frommer http://frommers.com/blog

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Car-only-accessible houses cost more than you think

The H+T Index shows that once transportation costs are factored into the definition of “affordable housing,” the number of affordable communities drops in almost every metro area in the country, resulting in a net loss of 48,000 neighborhoods with combined housing and transportation costs that stress the average family’s budget. Center for Neighborhood Technology

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Autosprawl trolls have no shame (and cannot do arithmetic)

...The flaw in Kotkin's argument is that it is impossible for any sane adult who understands the issues to not be in conflict with the American Dream. It's just not sustainable for everyone to live in a five-bedroom house on three acres and drive air-conditioned SUVs to office parks and big-box stores....
Cap'n Transit Rides Again

Friday, March 19, 2010

Carjacked -- the book

Carjacked is an in-depth look at our obsession with cars. While the automobile’s contribution to global warming and the effects of volatile gas prices is widely known, the problems we face every day because of our cars are much more widespread and yet much less known -- from the surprising $14,000 that the average family pays each year for the vehicles it owns, to the increase in rates of obesity and asthma to which cars contribute, to the 40,000 deaths and 2.5 million crash injuries each and every year. FireDogLake Carjacked Website

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Liberation from false belief -- opens new doors

Liberating oneself from false belief may be one of the most powerful freedoms. It is also something which carfree cities advocates should be used to doing: escaping from the myth that cars are necessary for movement opens a whole new world of possibilities and makes many otherwise obscured truths evident. Carbusters

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Walkability is a tax cut

...Want to stop bailing out banks for bad loans on single family houses people couldn't afford? Want to stop wasting money on overextended infrastructure and unnecessary and poorly planned highways? WALKABILITY IS A TAX CUT.

Unfortunately, we built a structural inertia upon zoning, bank loans, tax incentives, and road construction that carried us WAYYYY past equilibrium for those industries. We are now experiencing the pain of this overshoot, like any druggie experiencing withdrawal...

...Cities, particularly young cities that know no better are eager for the tax base. That is, until they get the bill to maintain that infrastructure at such a low density. But the unfortunate reality is that you can't unbundle transpo from housing without having a lot of poor people stuck in the middle of nowhere.... --Read more at Car Free in Big D

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tammi's story -- Hit by a car, now dependent on public transit

On January 27, 1995, I was in an Auto/Pedestrian accident on 3300 South 300 East. As a result of the accident I received a Traumatic Brain Injury and Pelvic Fracture. A lot of Motorist Refuse to Slow Down for Pedestrians. I have almost been hit again by Motorists Several Times Since my Accident. Read More...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Release the prisoners

There are few things more anti-freedom than the private automobile. Millions of people: poor, young, old, disabled, are kept prisoner to dependency because they cannot drive. Let us break the hold of critical mass that the auto-system has on human transport. Let us free millions of people.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Free buses will spur Dayton's economy

DAYTON — Mayor Gary Leitzell is looking at the feasibility of providing free bus service to attract businesses and tourists to the Dayton region.

“I’m looking at it as a economic development driver,” he said. “We can start by having a discussion.”

Leitzell said the idea for free bus service sprang from a discussion with Steve Johnson, president of Sinclair Community College, focusing on ways to get more people — under 30 years old — to live and spend time downtown.

“No business will come downtown if people don’t come downtown,” Leitzell said. “I was driving down Main Street and saw an RTA bus with just three people on it. I wondered if more people would come downtown if transportation was free.” DaytonDailyNews

Thursday, March 11, 2010

We are in direct conflict with Earth's rules

The Earth has its own set of rules, solidly grounded in laws of physics and chemistry and emergent principles of geology and biology. Unlike our economic model, these are not artificial constructs. They are real, and they govern. Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, tornadoes, 100-year floods, massive wildfires and disease epidemics are dramatic examples of parts of nature, neither all service nor all harm, creating and destroying, and governed by rules that are indifferent to humans. Our anthropocentric economic model for interacting with the world ignores and is proving to be incompatible with Earth's rules, and is therefore on a direct collision course with them. LosAngelesTimes March 02, 2010

By B.E. Mahall and F.H. Bormann

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Denver Post readers rip into autosprawl troll O'Toole

... The Post needs to stop supporting big business and do some serious report investigation before touting so called 'transportation experts' from lobbys. O'Toole is an expert in touting one opinon and not listening to any others. For your research, just Google O'Toole. He is a paid representative of the CATO foundation... seen the movie 'Thank You for Smoking'? O'Toole's movie would be 'Thank You for Using Fossil Fuels'....comment by kikstand on Denver Post O'Toole article

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Urbanophile advocates free transit

...2. Reduced operating expenses. Collecting fares means you need an entire cash management apparatus. Handling money requires care, proper processes, accounting, security, etc. Get rid of all that and you are saving money. Plus, you don’t have to worry about enforcement. Even on POP systems you’ve got the labor of people auditing tickets. Why bother? And you don’t need to pay repair technicians to service this equipment because it will never break down because it doesn’t exist. That also means no spare parts, which can mean less storage requirements, etc. And with less personnel you probably need a smaller office. The list of savings goes on and on.... Urbanophile

Friday, March 5, 2010

Public transit most bang for the buck against climate change

After one year of study, the Barr foundation decides that the most effective use of their money to fight climate change is building insulation and public transit. Actually, investments reducing private-auto use and installing insulation actually save more money than they cost.
“It’s a global problem of catastrophic proportions, but we have the ability in Metro Boston to make reductions,’’ said foundation executive director Pat Brandes. “We’re making a $50 million bet that we can.’’

To help shape the campaign, the staff at Barr spent nearly a year consulting with community groups, environmentalists, and government agencies, including the White House. The question, Brandes said, was: “How can our level of resources have the largest impact on climate change?’’

The foundation decided to fund groups that promote energy-efficiency in buildings, or that are involved in public transportation efforts. boston.com

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Calling all fossil-fuel trolls

The campaign for free public transit is steadily gaining. We are in 16 countries. We have candidates. We have mayors, councilors, professors, and more and more readers and supporters.

In response, the autosprawl industry has called out their trolls.

Some trolls are genteel--writing politely that "free transit cannot work"--ignoring the fact that it already does. But then there are the nasty trolls. They like to sign themselves "angry bus rider" or such. They have dropped the bogus "buses will become homeless shelters" chorus and they have taken up the equally bogus "we can't afford it" chorus.

But we know that certain investments actually make money. Studies show that taking the fares off of urban buses and trams actually pays for itself many times over.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Durham, NC leaders show real courage on free transit

DURHAM -- The idea of making rides on the Durham Area Transit Authority free appears to be picking up more City Council support, although it's not clear whether there's a sufficient number of votes to implement it in the coming fiscal year.

Administrators say the change would cost the city about $2.8 million in the first year, and figure it would boost ridership by about 25 percent. HeraldSun
We can expect a vicious attack on these brave council members. The oil and auto industry will fight to maintain their gravy train of public subsidy. As long as the auto-system has critical mass, there will be an unlimited supply of dupes who will insist on free roads, cheap parking, tax breaks for sprawl developers, bailouts for car-accessible-only homes, and other subsidy for the auto and oil companies. Politicians should not fear them. They do not represent the people. Go ahead and make it fare-free. It works. It is proven. It is not an experiment.