A US city roughly the same size as Dublin is on the verge of eliminating fares for public transport.
Jim Dabakis, a candidate for the mayoralty of Salt Lake City, is currently leading the polls - thanks in no small part to his promise to do away with fees for public transport. A recent poll by the Salt Lake City tribune found that residents of the city favour the idea by a ratio of three to one.
Saturday, August 17, 2019
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
People are calling for revolution to address climate change.
But the simple obvious step of fare-free buses still struggles for attention.
Some people understand, for others, their salary depends on them not understanding.
Sunday, August 11, 2019
We skeptics said that investors would at some point realize that shale oil was a long-term money loser. A former industry CEO did the math and calculated the damage as minus 80 percent for investors in the industry as a whole since 2008. Lately, investors seem to be reacting to facts rather than the hype.
Will shale oil rise again from the dead as it did after the 2014-2016 price decline? That will happen only if two things occur: 1) The oil price rises significantly and 2) investors have a serious bout of amnesia.http://resourceinsights.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-wheels-come-off-shale-oil.html
Saturday, August 10, 2019
Tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations across the country may be shocked this year to discover that, possibly for the first time, they must pay taxes simply for providing employees with access to transit and parking.https://thehill.com/opinion/finance/423104-new-tax-unjustly-punishes-nonprofit-workers
Specifically targeted within the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in early 2018, these employee benefit programs are now subject to a 21-percent tax costing the average charity $12,000 in 2018, according to a recent survey conducted by Independent Sector.
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Travelers on highways and bridges managed by the General Directorate of Highways will be exempt from paying tolls and municipality-run public transportation will be free during the upcoming Qurban Bayram holiday (also known as Eid al-Adha) in Turkey, according to a decree signed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.https://www.dailysabah.com/turkey/2019/08/07/turkey-to-enjoy-toll-free-road-travel-free-public-transport-during-holiday
Saturday, August 3, 2019
Most cities spend quite a lot on things like parking, collisions, police, health, congestion, and pedestrian infrastructure. A reduction in vehicle-miles traveled would bring immediate relief and reduce costs more than the amount of lost revenue.
Mayors from many cities have suggested making urban public transit fare-free:
- San Francisco
- New York
We try to document them here. https://fptpols.blogspot.com/
Then they get that phone call. Suddenly they go quiet.
Thursday, August 1, 2019
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Car pollution is a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Which is why we desperately need to incentivise other forms of transport instead
Sunday, July 28, 2019
Sunday, July 21, 2019
The capitalist system forces one to be self-centered.
Being outgoing and generous can quickly plunge one into poverty and dependency.
If you depend on your car, don't give it up. But there are millions who would take the bus if it were frequent and free. Let them.
Humans lived for tens of thousands of years without capitalism or cars.
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
A catastrophe of unimaginable proportions is unfolding. Life is disappearing from Earth and runaway heating could destroy all life. At 5°C heating, most life on Earth will have disappeared. When looking only at near-term human extinction, 3°C will likely suffice. Study after study is showing the size of the threat, yet many people seem out to hide what we're facing.http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2019/07/most-important-message-ever.html
Friday, July 5, 2019
- Public transit is not a company, it is a public investment
- Since it is not for profit, it can't be call subsidized
- It does not run in the red, it provides benefits that are not counted
- Fares are not for revenue, but for rationing
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
- 40% stated percent of revenue from fares
- 20% actual percent when capital costs are included
- 10% percent remaining after fare-collection costs are considered
- 00% percent remaining after fare-enforcement/fare-security
Fares, or user-fees, ration use to prevent misuse. But public transit is a part of your city that makes things better when used more, whereas cars are a consumer product that make your city worse when used more.
So, we cannot afford to ration public transit.
Sunday, June 30, 2019
Missed this picture.— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) June 30, 2019
Apparently Trump, Erdogan and Putin had a brief encounter during G-20 summit.
They all look very happy. pic.twitter.com/qxmbuGYCsh
Monday, June 24, 2019
Discounted or fare-free public transport moves have gained momentum in Auckland this year to try to accelerate patronage, which is already rising at nearly 8 per cent.https://farefreenz.blogspot.com/2019/06/auckland-public-transport-booms-in.html
Friday, June 21, 2019
Ridership on Breckenridge’s free public transportation system exploded in May with a 39.5% increase compared to May 2018, based on figures included in a memo produced by town staff.https://www.summitdaily.com/news/local/breckenridges-free-public-transit-system-sees-nearly-40-jump-in-may-ridership/
Overall, that equates to almost 48,000 rides for the month compared with just over 34,000 in May 2018. It puts the town’s transportation system at more than 600,000 rides year-to-date, a 17.7% increase compared with the same time frame last year.
According to town staff, this marks the 12th consecutive month of double-digit growth for the Free Ride system.
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Public transport is a common good that should be paid for by all. Everybody will share the benefits of a big switch to quality public transport and an end to traffic congestion - so everyone should share the costs, instead of expecting the users of public transport to shoulder the burden and effectively subsidise car travel on ‘free’ roads.
There is good reason for public transport to be partially paid for by subsidies from the public purse – why not cover the full cost collectively, as we do for other important public services such as libraries and police and civil infrastructure?https://farefreenz.blogspot.com/2019/06/a-big-idea-thats-too-big-forauckland.html
Saturday, June 15, 2019
A new study by researchers at the University of British Columbia suggests taking public transit may help you keep fit.https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090326134014.htm
Public Transport and Physical Activityhttp://bic.asn.au/information-for-moving-people/health-and-public-transport
Using public transport increases physical activity and helps reduce the chance of obesity and other health problems related to sedentary lifestyles.
The Victorian Integrated Survey of Travel and Activity (VISTA) of 43,800 Melbournians found that people who used public transport on a given day also spent an average of 41 minutes walking or cycling as part of their travel.
Walking to and from public transportation can help physically inactive populations, especially low-income and minority groups, attain the recommended level of daily physical activity. Increased access to public transit may help promote and maintain active lifestyles. Results from this study may contribute to health impact assessment studies (HIA) that evaluate the impact of proposed public transit systems on physical activity levels, and thereby may influence choices made by transportation planners.
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
We can show how removing fares reduces car costs, so it actually saves money.
2. "Undesirables" will be more mobile.
Yes, racism is one of the biggest reasons for opposing. Freetransit fights racism.
3. People who usually walk or cycle will take bus instead.
There is plenty of evidence that places with more public transit have more walking.
4. Public transit should win riders through better service, or service should be improved first.
Polls show people want buses (even Trump voters 60%) but we still don't have them. Stronger measures are called for. When buses are free the political support for better service will be stronger.
5. Homeless will ride.
So, the solution to homelessness is user fees, then. OK put user fees everywhere and problem solved.
6. Buses will be too crowded.
Oh dear! Crowded with what? With people who want public transit! So get more buses.
Find more info here and with links to documentation.
Saturday, June 8, 2019
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Who is against it?
Surprise: the oil, auto, and sprawl profiteers.
Below is a link to a desperate attack on free transit. In response, we offer a network of over 30 blogs with statistics and direct evidence that cars and sprawl are heavily subsidized. These subsidies are supported because since there are no alternatives to cars, they are seen as necessary expenses.
When enough towns have fare-free buses and trams, the car subsidy will be seen for what it is: government money going to support for-profit, car, sprawl, and oil businesses. Stop and think, how much money does your town export every day for petrol?
Of course the biggest victim of cars, oil, and sprawl is the biosphere. To support this car system we are fouling our own nest.
Fare-free buses are the way to break the monopoly of cars and expose the subsidies.
Saturday, June 1, 2019
NDP released their environment/climate plan "Power to Change" and it aims to modernise our infrastructure and transform Canada! Including putting a stop to fossil fuel subsidies, free public transportation, moving to electric vehicles! Yes! #cdnpoli https://t.co/2dpfgdt6tb— Craig Hunter (@itsyourodyssey) June 1, 2019
Sunday, May 26, 2019
When we find an open spot on the street, and there's no meter, it seems free — but it too is the result of government spending. The cost of the land, pavement, street cleaning, and other services related to free parking spots come directly out of tax dollars (usually municipal or state funding sources). Each on-street parking space is estimated to cost around $1,750 to build and $400 to maintain annually.https://www.vox.com/2014/6/27/5849280/why-free-parking-is-bad-for-everyone
Thursday, May 9, 2019
According To IMF global fossil fuel subsidies totaled a staggering $5.2 trillion worldwide in 2017, - this is investing 5 trillion in the destruction of our climate and future and must be stopped if world is serious about fighting global warming https://t.co/qQRC8erJ9y— GO GREEN (@ECOWARRIORSS) May 10, 2019
Saturday, May 4, 2019
Nordhaus agrees that man-made Climate Change is happening—he is not a "Climate Change Denialist". However, his research actually encourages policymakers not to take the action that Extinction Rebellion demands, or anything like it. He instead recommends managing Global Warming so that the Earth's temperature will stabilize at 4 degrees above pre-industrial levels in the mid-22nd centuryhttps://www.patreon.com/posts/climate-change-26594935
Thursday, May 2, 2019
The worst thing about cars is that they are like castles or villas by the sea: luxury goods invented for the exclusive pleasure of a very rich minority, and which in conception and nature were never intended for the people. Unlike the vacuum cleaner, the radio, or the bicycle, which retain their use value when everyone has one, the car, like a villa by the sea, is only desirable and useful insofar as the masses don’t have one. That is how in both conception and original purpose the car is a luxury good. And the essence of luxury is that it cannot be democratized. If everyone can have luxury, no one gets any advantages from it. On the contrary, everyone diddles, cheats, and frustrates everyone else, and is diddled, cheated, and frustrated in return.http://unevenearth.org/2018/08/the-social-ideology-of-the-motorcar/
This is pretty much common knowledge in the case of the seaside villas. No politico has yet dared to claim that to democratize the right to vacation would mean a villa with private beach for every family. Everyone understands that if each of 13 or 14 million families were to use only 10 meters of the coast, it would take 140,000km of beach in order for all of them to have their share! To give everyone his or her share would be to cut up the beaches in such little strips—or to squeeze the villas so tightly together—that their use value would be nil and their advantage over a hotel complex would disappear. In short, democratization of access to the beaches point to only one solution—the collectivist one. And this solution is necessarily at war with the luxury of the private beach, which is a privilege that a small minority takes as their right at the expense of all.
Monday, April 29, 2019
"When it comes to people and the environment, Robeson County is becoming a sacrifice zone." We are hearing about the exploitation of families in trailer park communities in Red Springs, NC #TruthAndPovertyTour pic.twitter.com/aHwVe6p25r— North Carolina Poor People's Campaign (@NC_PPC) April 29, 2019
Friday, April 19, 2019
The actual path back from the brink of biosphere meltdown is public transit, and the fastest way to go is by making it fare-free.
But public transit is a threat to growth and profits. These profits are not real though, they are backed by massive subsidy, not the least of which is the sacrifice of the biosphere.
Anyone in the business of city planning will lose their job if they do not actively oppose fare-free public transit.
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
This is a recipe for failure for several reasons:
- Autosprawl generates profits. Sprawl means that each home has its own set of tools, toys, and appliances. These profits are threatened by public transit.
- The auto and sprawl system (#autosprawl) has critical mass. Car costs are seen as necessary and buses are seen as an extra expense.
- The forces behind autos and sprawl are very strong. They even get governments to invade countries to secure sources of oil.
Sunday, April 7, 2019
Rich countries like the US and Japan are struggling to make enough babies. As sizeable populations of older adults retire and age out of the workforce, younger people are having fewer kids. It's setting up a ticking demographic time bomb, readying to explode when there aren't enough young people to care and pay for what the older generation needs.https://www.businessinsider.com/japan-demographic-time-bomb-reversing-but-us-is-in-danger-2018-7
Falling birth rates are a real problem for capitalism, a system that relies on growth to keep up it's false promises of a comfortable life. Now cheap oil is gone, and growth is over. Young people cannot afford children. So who will take the fall?
Today's retirees spent their working lives making capitalists rich. Now, suddenly, there is no money to take care of them. Where did it go?
Saturday, April 6, 2019
Now the system needs repair. Roads, bridges, water lines, sewers, electric grid, schools, drainage, and such need maintenance or rebuilding. The profiteers are gone, there is no money to be made now. The urban tax base is no longer enough to support the suburbs.
Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Glenn Rudebusch, the San Francisco Fed’s executive vice president for research, ranks climate change as one of the three “key forces transforming the economy,” along with an aging population and rapid advances in technology. Climate change could soon hit the banking system “by storms, droughts, wildfires, and other extreme events” making it harder for businesses to repay loans.https://grist.org/article/federal-reserve-climate-change-economy-green-bonds/
Bankers fear falling birth rates. Ironically, they will blame defaults on climate disruption, while the best way to fight climate disruption is to speed the decline of births -- a bigger cause of default.
Human population is still rising, but the people are in all the wrong places. The more developed an area, the faster the birth rate falls. Immigration from more populous areas can help but it is difficult to implement quickly enough.
Everyone should be preparing for the high unemployment that will come with debt defaults. Cut waste, get rid of cars, plant food, don't have babies.
Friday, March 22, 2019
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
UTA and partners offered free-fare days Feb. 28 and March 1, a Thursday and Friday. Interim Executive Director Steve Meyer told the UTA board Wednesday that free rides attracted an extra 20,000 passengers the first day and 29,000 on the second.https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2019/03/20/free-fare-experiment/
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
...We need free public transport, new diets, denser modes of living, affordable housing close to where the jobs are, food grown closer to where it is consumed, reduction of working time and commuting, low-energy ways of living and finding satisfaction, curbs on excessive incomes and on ostentatious consumption....https://truthout.org/articles/a-green-new-deal-must-not-be-tied-to-economic-growth/
Saturday, March 9, 2019
Let’s abandon this disastrous experiment, recognise that this 19th-century technology is now doing more harm than good, and plan our way out of it. Let’s set a target to cut the use of cars by 90% over the next decade.https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/07/cars-killing-us-driving-environment-phase-out
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Trying to assess the relative worth of Iraqi versus US shale oil is complicated, however, by our failure to account for the full cost – in energy and cash – of recovery. Most calculations of Energy Return on Investment (EROI) are made at the well head, whereas what we need to know is the cost at the point of use. While a lot less energy goes into getting a barrel of Iraqi oil out of the ground compared to US fracking, this misses the point. The full EROI cost must also include the ongoing military occupation of the country that was required to allow US oil companies to get their hands on it to begin with. It is with this in mind that we should view America’s latest attempt to foist “freedom and democracy” on yet another unwilling populace; in this instance, Venezuela.http://consciousnessofsheep.co.uk/2019/02/26/turning-low-eroi-oil-into-no-eroi-oil/
Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Monday, February 11, 2019
To start, in order to facilitate a transition away from fossil fuels, the Green New Deal must include a provision moving toward fare-free public transit.
While it sounds radical and downright unaffordable, it’s been done in several cities around the world with success. Estonia’s capital, Tallinn, is a city of well over 400,000 inhabitants and has had free public transit for locals since 2013. Chapel Hill, North Carolina has had free bus transportation since 2002 and in doing so, has increased their annual ridership from 3 million to nearly 7 million. Many smaller jurisdictions, including 56 small cities across Europe have implemented fare-free public transportation programs.http://www.dbknews.com/2019/02/11/green-new-deal-free-public-transportation-metro-ocasio-cortez-bowser-climate-change/
Thursday, February 7, 2019
But, specifically, how would it benefit rural areas?
Answer: by fighting sprawl.
Sprawl threatens the peace and quiet of rural areas. Farms are surrounded by housing developments and subject to complaints from new residents.
Sprawl needs tax money for schools, roads, and utilities. Developers often take profit from home sales and leave municipal costs for the residents. So rural people will likely see more taxes.
Roads will be more crowed. Rural roads are dangerous, often without shoulders and drainage. More traffic -- more collisions.
It may sound strange, but the esoteric topic of fare collection has become one of the most polarizing in public transportation. And it’s likely to get worse—unless we start rethinking the idea of transit fares entirely. ...
...According to the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, 91 percent of summons for fare evasion in the District between January 2016 and February 2018 were issued to African-Americans.https://www.citylab.com/perspective/2019/02/washington-fare-evasion-free-public-transport-train-ticket/582160/
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Airwars tracked & mapped every single Coalition anti-ISIS air & artillery strike (all 32,000) in Iraq & Syria from 2014 to 2018. That ended December 16th when the US-led alliance stopped saying where & when it bombs. For the sake of transparency, @CJTFOIR should reverse decision. pic.twitter.com/RWWdpu7N0s— Airwars (@airwars) February 5, 2019
Saturday, February 2, 2019
The Irish Times published a letter of mine proposing such a system for Dublin in 1980. In it I argued that such a system could massively reduce traffic congestion, reduce car imports, reduce fuel imports, and increase employment in the city.https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/free-public-transport-could-it-work-for-dublin-1.3775062
In the meantime, we have seen a massive increase in traffic congestion, urban sprawl, commuting times, population density, and proposed and actual new public transportation systems such as the Luas and Metro causing massive disruption during the building phase and costing many billions of euro.
Tripling the size of Dublin’s bus fleet would probably be required to meet the latent demand for an efficient and free public transport service, but the capital cost would be minuscule compared to the cost of the aforementioned projects.
Instead of requiring exorbitant new infrastructure, existing and underused bus lanes would be more fully utilised, and journey times improved as car traffic diminished. Valuable space currently required for car parking could be repurposed for social housing or public amenities.
Such an expansion of the public bus system would massively improve the convenience of the existing bus services by increasing the frequency, range, and scope of current routes.
Instead of wasting time, burning fuel, polluting the atmosphere, and contributing to global warming, commuters could work on the bus, engage with social media and, horror of horrors, actually talk to one another, thereby recreating a more convivial and socially egalitarian city.
If the buses were primarily electric, they could further reduce our carbon footprint, and reduce the fines we will soon become liable to pay for failing to reach our carbon reduction targets.
As we have little oil and no car manufacturing industries, such a system would also improve our balance of trade and employment levels.
As a nation, we think nothing of spending billions on (partially) free education, healthcare, roads and public facilities. But an efficient public transport system is every bit as vital to the functioning of a modern economy. How much time is wasted driving cars on congested roads which could otherwise be devoted to more productive work or social activities? How many lives could be saved by less tired (and sometimes intoxicated) driving?
It is an idea whose time has come. – Yours, etc,
Thursday, January 31, 2019
Saturday, January 26, 2019
We have to make it a conversation about cost and consequences. Sprawl is extremely subsidized, and the chickens are coming home to roost on that. Cities and regions are starting to see pseudo-bankrupt conditions. The tax generation doesn’t match the cost. Not even close.https://www.vox.com/2017/6/23/15815510/toderian-suburbs
I’m not going to tell you your choice is fundamentally wrong. I’m going to point out that your choice is being subsidized by me, who’s paying more taxes and using less infrastructure.
Friday, January 25, 2019
Except for Kirkuk, Iraq, there is basically no easy-to-get oil left in the ground.
Why is oil so precious? Isn't there a glut? No. US shale loses money on every barrel. It's subsidized by debt. Saudi oil is half water and going more and more for air conditioning every year.
The entire developed world, it's transport systems, manufacturing, farming, and military are dependent on liquid fuel. There is no substitute for oil. Whoever controls oil has great power.
The government of Venezuela is subservient to the bankers, but they have some leverage. But this is competition, not war. There will be no US/Russia war. They are rivals, not enemies. All major governments serve the banks.
When oil was cheap, debt was run up on the expectation that it would always be so. The world now has $250 trillion in debt. The banks will use government power against us, the common people, who work every day to pay the interest on the debt.
What to do. Make buses fare-free in your town. Move away from autos. Be resilient.
Thursday, January 24, 2019
"Essentially, if there were no droughts and heat waves, if there were not going to be any long-term drying over the next century, then the continents would be able to store almost twice as much carbon as they do now," says Gentine. "Because soil moisture plays such a large role in the carbon cycle, in the ability of the land to uptake carbon, it's essential that processes related to its representation in models become a top research priority."
Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2019-01-climate-sooner.html
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Here we have a list of the benefits.
Here we have a spreadsheet that shows how your town will save money.
Please take a look at these. And the next time you want to honk at the car in front of you, think. Maybe if public transit were free, that guy would not be there.
Saturday, January 12, 2019
People get excited when their hopes are raised as CM exposes oppression and fraud. But they just do this to keep you engaged, hoping for more crumbs from them.
They decide who gets time in the spotlight, and how much. Ever notice how elections are so close all the time? They keep it that way so any one politician can't get too much power.
They are currently promoting anything to divide the American people. Small groups of right wingers and fake left get coverage out of proportion to their numbers.
Do we think the billionaire elites leave the CM to chance? Do we think they do not meet and plan?
They put Trump in, and when and if they choose, they will take him out.
Friday, January 11, 2019
First a list of failed attacks that have been mostly abandoned.
1. "nothing is free." this came from libertarians who should be marching against car subsidy.
2. "homeless will ride" this is too heartless for public consumption.
3. "homeless will ride" this is also code for non-whites. This racism is too obvious.
4. "people will stop walking/biking" asserted with no evidence. We have contrary data.
"you can't get to work on time"
Free transit doesn't "solve" the problem of cars, it begins the solution. The argument admits that cars have a monopoly and the whole system is dependent on them. This means that a private profit system (cars, oil, sprawl builders) are subsidized, but the subsidy looks like "necessity." So the more you have cars, the more you have to have cars. How far do we want to go with this?
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
The economy is a self-organizing structure that operates under the laws of physics. Many people have thought that when the world economy reaches limits, the limits would be of the form of high prices and “running out” of oil. This represents an overly simple understanding of how the system works. What we should really expect, and in fact, what we are now beginning to see, is production cuts in finished goods made by the industrial system, such as cell phones and automobiles, because of affordability issues. Indirectly, these affordability issues lead to low commodity prices and low profitability for commodity producers.
Sunday, January 6, 2019
This suggests a "Power Theory of Value", that energy consumption and economic wealth are tied by a constant. Importantly, this is a falsifiable hypothesis. And, as shown above, it seems to be borne out by the data. Summing wealth over all the world’s nations, 7.1 Watts is required to maintain every one thousand inflation-adjusted 2005 dollars of historically accumulated economic production.http://nephologue.blogspot.com/2018/05/a-power-theory-of-value.html
Saturday, January 5, 2019
Friday, January 4, 2019
Thursday, January 3, 2019
As with any other natural system, civilization is composed of matter. Internal circulations are maintained by a dissipation of potential energy. Oil, coal, and other fuels “heat” civilization to raise the potential of its internal components. Dissipative frictional, resistive, radiative, and viscous forces return the potential of civilization to its initial state, ready for the next cycle of energy consumption.https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2013EF000171
Linking physical to economic quantities comes from a fixed relationship between rates of global energy consumption and historical accumulation of global economic wealth. When growth rates approach zero, civilization becomes fragile to externalities, such as natural disasters, and is at risk for accelerating collapse.
As it reaches limits, human activity will degrow. To the extent that we degrow voluntarily, we may be able to reduce the pain. In any case, physics will rule. We can fight it, but not overcome it.
Tuesday, January 1, 2019
As you may recall, in January 2015, Missoula city and county governments joined forces with 13 other local businesses and organizations to invest in a three-year Zero-Fare demonstration project with the goals of removing barriers to riding public transit, helping buses operate more efficiently, and increasing Mountain Line ridership for the overall health of our community.
By all measures, the Zero-Fare project has been an incredible success, demonstrating how thoughtful public investments can be leveraged with private donations to achieve important community goals.