Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Campaign for free public transport in Poland, patient, persistent, successful

Free public transport?: "In Wągrowcu are 34,104 registered vehicles, which are in peak congestion, and parking lots are still crowded. An alternative to car can be a bus.
The representatives of the Free Trade Union "August 80", the organizer of the national campaign "No to increases in ticket prices - YES for free public transport", came to Wągrowiec to perform actions in favor of free public transport. The unions last Wednesday at the Market convince residents to implement this idea..."

Free transit pays you back. Right away.

A U.S. city of one million needs about $100 per year per person to replace public transit fares. This amount of tax would be recovered many times over by very small percentage reductions in other costs. Many studies show that increased use of public transit improves health. Health care costs would need to go down less than one percent. Free transit would lower collision and congestion costs as well. We put the numbers in a spread sheet. Take a look. The good news is the payback starts immediately.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Tehran to Spend $10 Billion on Expansion of Public Transport

Bloomberg : "Tehran’s municipality has been in talks with officials from China for the construction of 150 kilometers of metro lines and the purchase of some of the 2,300 metro wagons needed for the city, Behrooz said. Iran is generally keen to resume business cooperation with Europeans companies in light of a temporary easing of economic sanctions against the Persian Gulf nation, he added."

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Arab states pumping $100 Billion into #publictransit

Transport congress reflects on region’s adoption of mass transit | "“The UITP MENA Congress is one of the biggest gatherings in the public transport sector as it brings together CEOs of public transport entities, industry leaders, policy makers, legislators, developers, consultants, operators and manufacturers under one roof to discuss future solutions of issues pertaining to public transport means,” he said.
He added that the congress will play a role in widening and revamping the mass transit sector in the region, while offering a good opportunity to tap into successful experiences of developed countries and the latest technologies adopted in this field.
“The region has witnessed rapid development in the transportation sector over the last few years with projects worth $100 billion (Dh367billion) taking shape,” he informed."

Saturday, April 26, 2014

People want #freetransit, here is proof

Green Blog : "The free-fare scheme in Tallinn is the result of a referendum which was held in 2012. In the referendum 75.5 percent voted for the scheme, and 24.5 percent voted against. Back then several political parties were skeptical to the idea of free public transport. Many politicians believed that it would be too expensive or simply unfeasible to accomplish. But the idea of a free-fare scheme had a strong public support, and thanks to the result in the referendum the scheme was approved. Today no one wants to abolish the scheme – that’s how successful it has been. Allan Alaküla, head of Tallinn’s European Union Office in Brussels, says there has been a “political shift” for free public transport. There is now “no party promising to abolish the free ride for Tallinners,” he says.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cities that have #freetransit first are ahead in the game : " “We are frequently asked why we are offering free-of-charge public transport,” the mayor of Tallinn told Citiscope. “It is actually more appropriate to ask why most cities in the world still don’t.”"

Campaign for free public transport in Quebec

Réseau pour un transport en commun gratuit - RTCGratuit: "Un bon système de transport en commun n’est pas un privilège, c’est un droit qui découle du droit à la mobilité. Toutes les personnes doivent pouvoir se déplacer dans la ville selon leurs besoins, entre autres pour avoir accès au travail et aux services, peu importe leurs moyens. Le développement de la ville autour de l’automobile a rendu la mobilité dépendante d’un bien de consommation particulièrement coûteux. Un transport en commun accessible est un élément clé de la liberté de circulation."

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Young people just say "NO" to car abuse

Transportation For America: "Three in four say it is likely they will live in a place where they do not need a car to get around. But a majority in all but the largest metros rate their own cities “fair” or “poor” in providing public transportation, and they want more options such as car share and bike share."

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Labor union declares May as Transit Action Month

transitisgreater : "Public transit is facing a crisis in the U.S. and Canada. Service is being cut and fares are being raised. Our wages, benefits and pensions under attack. The rich continue to get richer while working people continue to suffer as the Koch brothers, ALEC, corporations, and their billionaire buddies will stop at nothings to terminate essential public services for hard working people."

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Oil tycoons are beginning to outlaw #publictransit

Motherboard : "The Kochs and their advocates are pumping their dislike of mass transit into a public policy arena in a city where they themselves have little or no actual direct involvement. They're not just trying to keep public transit out of the town they live in—now, in fact, they are trying to ban an entire technological concept as widely as possible.

This, it bears reminding, is the new normal. Political scientists say our government now resembles not democracy, but 'economic elite domination'. So it shouldn't be too surprising that billionaires can influence the cancelation of a bus line in a city halfway across the country—and override the popular opinion that the BRT should go forward."

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Green growth is fake, accomplished by sending pollution elsewhere

Why green growth won’t transform the economy | openDemocracy: "Unfortunately, green growth is a myth, or at least an inadequate response to the challenges that lie ahead. Because it ignores the social, political and personal dimensions of sustainability, it can never cut deep enough into the structures of self and society to secure a solution to the crises that we face.
In some shape or form, green growth is already happening. In Germany, for example, both energy intensity and energy consumption have declined slightly over the past 20 years, while GDP has steadily increased. But Germany has achieved this largely by doing away with lots of its own energy-intensive industries, and outsourcing this part of the supply chain to other parts of the planet - most notably to China. "

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Free is cheaper

We started calculating the costs that could be reduced for a city of 1 million in the US if free public transit were adopted. After 3 categories, it is apparent that only minor reductions would amply pay for the "lost" revenues. We will continue working on the spread sheet, and we may not even have to include the costs of climate change.
The first column is the expense that could possibly be reduced by having free transit.
The second column is the fixed cost from sources such as AAA adjusted for a city of 1 million.
The 3rd column, percentage of savings, is the one to change to see how much is needed to make the bottom line zero or greater. After only 3 categories, and a modest estimate of 5 or 6% savings with free transit, we can easily recover the lost fare revenue.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Energy wars heat up as Russia threatens the petrodollar

The Voice of Russia : "The US dollar's position as the base currency for global energy trading gives the US a number of unfair advantages. It seems that Moscow is ready to take those advantages away.

Read more:"

"There is no such thing as free" -- a misleading play on words

Carfree France : "Because in fact, free is indeed on public transport, at least in twenty cities or towns; indeed talking here free from the point of view of the user, who does not have to pay a ticket or subscription. FNAUT UTP and thus play on words to make believe that "free does not exist" in flagrant contradiction with the facts.

In addition, free does not apply only to public transport. Unless proven otherwise, all French roads are "free", that is to say, they are not paid by motorists who use them. These roads are paid for by taxpayers, so in part by motorists, but also by all those who pay taxes and who do not have a car."

Monday, April 14, 2014

Global crude oil production peaked in 2005

Resource Insights : "...But Texas oilman Jeffrey Brown has been bending my ear recently about looking even deeper into the issue. He makes a major clarifying point: If what you're selling cannot be sold on the world market as crude oil, then it's not crude oil. It's such a simple and obvious point that I'm ashamed to have missed it. And, Brown believes that if we could find data that separates all these other non-crude oil things out, the remaining worldwide production number for crude oil alone would be flat to down from 2005 onward...."

Sunday, April 13, 2014

UN IPCC "solution" is wrong. Dead wrong.

It's simple. We either obey the laws of physics, or we obey the needs of capitalism.

The IPCC took the politically "safe" route of advocating renewables replacing fossil fuels as a solution to greenhouse gas emissions. But as long as capitalism and growth dominate our economics, these renewables will just be consumed in the fire of demand.

To make matters worse, many of them actually create more emissions or just move them somewhere else.

Here is a suggestion for a real solution:

Make cities car-free
Educate all children

This will break the critical mass of the autosprawl system, and encourage falling birth rates.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Fares are for rationing, not revenue. #freeischeaper

carfree france: "the sale of tickets, represent a very small share of funding for public transport, ranging from an average of 15 % for small towns to 23% for the largest cities of France (1).

In other words, the funding of public transport in France is already provided between 77% and 85% by taxpayers and businesses. Worse, in some cities, ticket sales are lower than the costs of collection (2). This means, hold on tight, as ticket sales and subscriptions do not even cover the material and human costs to sell tickets, compost and control users. In other words, in some cases, charges users to be able to simply check they pay ..."

Friday, April 11, 2014

UN IPCC: #publictransit key to fighting #climatechange

The Guardian: "A draft report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), obtained by the Guardian, says smart choices in urban planning and investment in public transport could help significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions, especially in developing countries."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Peaceful free-fare movement in Brazil - #tarifazero #passelivre

Don't Privatize and Reduce Public Transit, Make It Free and Expand It

truth-out/buzzflash : "The bottom line, however, is that the developed world economy built on the automobile (especially in the United States and Canada) cannot continue (in its gas-powered form) without virtually ensuring ecological disaster in the coming years.

What the United States and Canada (where the infamous Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has cut down mass transit projects) should be doing is expanding mass transit at the fastest effective possible rate - and charging nothing (or under a dollar) for use of trains and buses in urban areas.  This may violate the philosophical credo of the neoliberal anti-science forces who are leading the planet into doom, but squashing public transportation with privatzation and higher fares - as well as cutting back on it - is a recipe for a toxic Earth."

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

#Freetransit conference in Germany draws activists from 7 countries

August 80 : "On 4-5 April in Berlin located near the city of Erkner was held organized by the Foundation. Rosa Luxemburg meeting people and organizations involved in promoting the idea of ​​free public transport on the European continent. It was attended by activists from Estonia, Italy, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Sweden and the Polish - Luke Ługowski (Free Trade Union "August 80") and Simon Martys (Polish Labour Party)."

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Why is there money for subways, but not for buses?

Have you noticed? People fight for years to get one bus, but somehow massive subway projects seems to breeze through the political process. It's because subways send people underground to make room for cars above. Let's get rid of cars--they clearly don't work. There is plenty of room for buses and trams in a city without cars.

Panama's president unveiling subway ahead of vote - El Paso Inc.: Headlines: "The metro will surely alleviate the booming capital's dreadful traffic. But critics say the $2 billion spent on the 9-mile (14-kilometer) rail line would have been better used building a higher-capacity surface transport network and expanded bus system."

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Persian Gulf oil states planning to get away from cars

Middle East public transport will be among best | ""As new public transportation, particularly metros and light rail, become adopted this enlightenment can only increase, and I firmly believe we're going to see cars lose their prime status as the favoured method of inner-city transportation in an incredibly short timescale," Ziadat said."

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Which is it, too crowded? or no one will ride? #freetransit opponents can't decide.

There is no case against free public transit. The numbers are overwhelming. The costs of supporting the auto and sprawl infrastructure are straining municipal budgets and the attraction of reducing cars is compelling.

Opponents of free transit have a herculean task. They have tried to frame it as an experiment. That failed. They have tried to say it is too expensive. That is being debunked -- it is actually cheaper. They have tried to say that it does not attract riders (who came up with that one). Now they say it will cause "crowding." That is essentially saying that we should not have free transit because people want it.