Monday, November 29, 2010

User fees matter

Plastic bags:
Charging for plastic bags cut bag consumption by half in China: "ScienceDaily (Nov. 28, 2010) — Research from the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) shows that people in China -- the number one consumers of plastic bags in the world -- reduced their consumption of plastic bags by half when stores were forced to charge consumers for the bags."
The cigarette companies have opposed tobacco tax increases by arguing that raising cigarette prices would not reduce adult or youth smoking. But the companies’ internal documents, disclosed in the tobacco lawsuits, show that they know very well that raising cigarette prices is one of the most effective ways to prevent and reduce smoking, especially among kids.
Public transit: Read our blog and website for numerous examples of how removing the user fee from public transit lowers the unit cost of this public investment and vastly increases the ROI.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Citylink Edmond ridership nearly triples » Local News » The Edmond Sun

Citylink Edmond ridership nearly triples » Local News » The Edmond Sun: "EDMOND — Ridership on Edmond’s relatively new public transit service has nearly tripled during its first year, a city official said.

During Wednesday’s City Council workshop members of the Edmond Public Transportation Committee, chaired by Councilman David Miller, discussed the increase in ridership with Citylink Edmond.

The city’s new free public transportation service, managed by McDonald Transit, began operating in July 2009, and currently manages eight buses equipped with bike racks and wheelchair tie-downs, according to the city. Two Expresslink buses seat 30 passengers each while the six local route buses can carry 19 passengers each."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Streetsblog New York City » In Memoriam: Ted Kheel, [Free] Transit Advocate and Visionary

Streetsblog New York City » In Memoriam: Ted Kheel, Transit Advocate and Visionary: "The New York Times called Ted Kheel, who died Friday at the age of 96, New York City’s pre-eminent labor peacemaker from the 1950s through the 1980s. And he was. Ted was also a steadfast advocate for civil rights, a fierce champion of mass transit, a stalwart defender of labor, an urbanist, a philanthropist, and a visionary. And, for the better part of a century, a vital element of progressive struggle in New York and beyond."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Equality is our main goal

It is important to say that the main argument in all this discussion of the zero fare in the public transport is related with the fact the we need cities more equitable socially and economically speaking. Beyond global warming and environmental problems, the concrete change related with our subject it's the displacement of people in the cities.

Being direct: a town only exists for those who can move inside of it. For those who can live all the urban equipments that the modern city provide to us. The right to the transport is only a right that leads us to other rights (health, education, leisure, work etc.)

That said, I would say we need to focus, internationally speaking, our work in more social arguments and not only the environmental ones. We know that both are important, but when it comes to Zero Fare, in practice we are talking about income redistribution, which directly affects social changes.

-Yuri Gama

Friday, November 12, 2010

Voters: We’ll Pay for Good Transportation - DMI Blog

Voters: We’ll Pay for Good Transportation | DMI Blog: "Think last week’s election was nothing more than a massive voter referendum in favor of lower taxes, reduced spending and less government? A roundup of transportation ballot measures from the Center for Transportation Excellence should make you think again.
From Anchorage to St. Louis to Fairfax County, Virginia, when they were asked to weigh in directly on local transportation spending measures, voters chose to approve the investment 77 percent of the time. In many cases, voters opted to raise their own sales, property, or vehicle registration taxes in the process, indicating a strong support for mass transit, infrastructure maintenance, and upgrades in street safety even during lean times. Some highlights:"

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Growth consumes efficiency

Warning To the People of Earth from Bruce Mohun on Vimeo.
William Rees is the co-creator of the Eco-Footprint concept. He has measured humanity’s use of the planet’s resources, and what he has discovered is frightening. We are using more resources than the planet can possibly supply us with. Without a huge change in the way we live, our planet-wide civilization will likely collapse. This 29-minute documentary is a compilation of his lectures, and a summary of his warning.
click here to watch on vimeo

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I am paid $26/hr to take the bus | Hithatsmybike's Blog

I am paid $26/hr to take the bus | Hithatsmybike's Blog: "This isn’t a joke, I make roughly $26/hr taking public transit. I’m not paid by the city or ETS or any green organization — I’m paid by myself, with the money I’m not spending on a car.

I take the bus and/or the train every single day. Assuming a 20 minute commute, there & back, that’s about 40 minutes, 7 days per week. This works out to roughly 20 hours per month.

Now, to do this calculation we have to consider the alternative: car ownership. Very, very, very few people recognize how abhorrently expensive owning a vehicle actually is. They will purposely deceive themselves, make wild justifications, omit essential calculations, all in the name of keeping their car. Oh I know, it’s so convenient and you need it because you live out of town or whatever, but some vehicle owners are just kidding themselves."

Thursday, November 4, 2010

No more free subsidy -- everyone should contribute to the economy

No one wants to work hard and pay taxes while someone else gets a free ride. People are acutely aware of unfairness when this situation pertains. So, if you are the one getting the free ride, it behooves you not to try to oppose this natural feeling. The fossil-fuel industry and those who profit from autosprawl have hired the best lobbyists and propagandists to convince people to misdirect the public debate away from their subsidy gravy train.

Working urbanites are paying taxes to cover the externalities of the the car-dependent suburbs. This is autosprawl welfare. But you will not see this exposed in the mainstream media. Instead the target of budget-cutting will be some amorphous group of n'er-do-wells who are getting a "free" ride. When you actually crunch the numbers, leaving out the very wealthy, there are not really very many people getting paid to do nothing. That leaves poor people, unemployed, disabled, elderly, ill, children -- surprise -- these are the people who are going to suffer benefit cuts.

Autosprawl welfare will continue. Billions wasted sitting in traffic while grandmothers and oil-war veterans dig through trash cans looking for a bite to eat.

US - a pathetic excuse for a country. Not for the brainwashed and stupid. But because the educated, healthy, often liberal, people who still think electric cars are progress and autosprawl can still work.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Robert Reich, economist, free public transit advocate

(8) a sizeable increase in public goods such as transportation, public parks, recreational facilities, public museums and libraries, with free public transportation, including high speed rail; and,


Monday, November 1, 2010

US cuts transit, Dubai invests.

Dubai: Free public transport day in Dubai received a positive response from the public, with many people leaving their cars at home to ride the metro, public buses and water buses.

The free transport day is being celebrated on Monday to mark the fifth anniversary of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

Shaikh Majid Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Cultures and Arts Authority, officially launched the day by riding various public transportation.

Shaikh Majid was accompanied by a number of senior officials from various government departments.

He was briefed about the RTA's public transport projects by Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA.

Shaikh Majid along other officials took the Dubai Metro from the World Trade Centre station to Union Square station in Deira.

He got off the station and took the public bus to reach Baniyas marine station. He finally took water bus to arrive at Al Seef Station in Bur Dubai. The whole journey took around 35 minutes.