Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Much money wasted collecting fares on public transit - Letter from Dave Olsen

It seems that when it rains, it pours, especially with elections.

Not that any of them have improved anything for the average person for a long, long time; they have enabled the rich to get richer but I'll save you that one for another time.

The Provincial NDP have a leadership race on right now.  If you're a member, you can vote for their new leader.

I was astonished when one candidate, Dana Larsen, asked me for more info about Fare-Free Transit.  After our chat, he asked that we do a video together.  It's short and concise and I've received very positive feedback from it.

You can view the video here:

What inspired me to write this email though, is that Dana has created two platform pledges from this work: making the Skytrain Fare-Free and then converting all of the BC Transit systems to Fare-Free.

He really seems to understand the necessity of moving our transit systems to Fare-Free:

  • we need to help people out of their cars if we are to survive as a species
  • it costs more to collect fares than to not collect fares in every community in BC, save Vancouver and possibly Victoria.  Shockingly, we have no idea how much net revenue (if any) is actually generated by the farebox in either of those cities.
Don't get me wrong: the political/electoral system that is in place will make these kinds of changes next to impossible, regardless of who is elected.

But if you believe in peaceful change from within, then here's a rare opportunity for you.  Fare-Free Transit has happened in many other places in the civilized world, so it could happen here, too.

For more on Dana's and the other candidate's platforms, you can read them here:

If nothing else, spread the news that a potential Premier wants to make it easier for you to take transit!

PS.  In related news, the Ontario Legislature just voted to remove the right of transit workers in Toronto to strike, deeming the TTC an "essential service."  This is on the eve of the Amalgamated Transit Union contract expiring at the end of this month and on the heels of Wisconsin, Michigan, and other US states' legislatures removing the right for public workers to collectively bargain.

ATU Local 113 president Bob Kinnear stated in response to the legislation: "If we are so essential why hasn't there been legislation to properly fund the transit system."