Friday, September 2, 2011

Race to the top in public transit -- how will your town fare?

More people are waking up to the fact that the auto-system grinds commerce to a halt. The auto system drains the resources of employees and employers alike. It makes the movement of people and goods expensive and time-consuming. This will only get worse, especially if more roads are built.

Communities that can offer freedom from the car have a distinct competitive advantage. As fossil-fuel prices go up this advantage will become greater until a tipping point is reached. This will mean a race to the top in public transit. Those who are taking action now will be the winners.

The fastest way to grow public transit is to make it fare-free. This will increase ridership and increase the political base of transit advocates. If you want your town to be a winner, talk to your mayor, join your local transit advocacy group. Study the places it has been done. Initial cost is 60 basis points of tax. The return on investment is immediate.

Better get started, businesses are already looking for public transit when deciding where to locate.