Tuesday, December 31, 2019

UN solution for CO2 -- better cars

Zero-emission automobiles, of course, do not and cannot ever exist. 
All automobiles require fuel, and even solar panels, wind turbines, hydro-electric dams, and nuclear power plants produce GHG emissions in their construction and maintenance. The emissions, in these minor examples as well as in the coal and natural gas plants that are the major sources of “EV” power, merely occur at locations other than a tailpipe. But occur they most certainly still do, despite automakers’ labels suggesting otherwise. Shame on the United Nations for missing and obscuring this crucial fact.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Deepwater oil/gas projects hit a record 10m boe/d

Global CO2 emissions growth accelerating, not declining

Global energy-related CO2 emissions grew 1.7% in 2018 to reach a historic high of 33.1 Gt CO2. It was the highest rate of growth since 2013, and 70% higher than the average increase since 2010. Last year's growth of 560 Mt was equivalent to the total emissions from international aviation.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Candidates for office responding to demands for fare-free public transport

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Garrett's Constant shows economics inextricably linked to physics

The existence of a mathematical “constant” tying society to physics offers a critical piece of the human puzzle: economic wealth is inseparable from energy consumption; any diminished capacity to recover the energy necessary to maintain the steady hive of civilization must lead to economic collapse. If for whatever reason we fail to adequately fuel ourselves, we can expect the cyclic motions of our machines and ourselves to slowly grind to a halt. Our interest in crypto-currency or the auction price of a self-destructing Banksy will be replaced by more primal values like having a can-owner for opening a can of Spam. In the logical extreme, with an absence of food, we will wither and die, with all our perceptions of economic worth buried along with us.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

#freetransit is popular to reduce collisions during the holidays

But how much could it save in collisions throughout the year?

100-vehicle pileup on snow-covered highway - who pays for this? https://sprawlsubsidy.blogspot.com/2018/02/100-vehicle-pileup-on-snow-covered.html?

...a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It found, among other things, that the annual cost of car crashes in 2010 was $871 billion

Cost of auto collisions $900, cost of #freetransit $100. (per household per year)
Cost of #autosprawl, your life! 

How we subsidize the car -- cost of road collisions 

Are you tired of trolls trashing #freetransit?

The physics, the economics, and common sense, are all on the side of fare-free public transit.

We take on the trolls. We will not back down or compromise.

Don't underestimate trolls, or our commitment to expose them. They are paid, directly or indirectly. Because of this, they will not tire. It's their personal survival vs survival of the human race.

We work for free. We need your help. It's easy to blog for #freetransit. No commitment, no pressure, (also no pay). Contact us at fpteditors at gmail. We will provide all the help you need to become a successful blogger.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Miami-Dade Commissioner calls for fare-free #publictransit, #freepublictransit

“It is time for Miami-Dade County to come into the 21st Century and provide fare-free public transportation,” Mr. Suarez said in a Dec. 15 press note. “Given the fact that total revenues from buses and Metrorail barely exceed $100 million, which is less than 2% of the operating budget for the county, the time has come to induce the use of mass transit by any and all means.”

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Fares are for rationing, not revenue

Here is more evidence that fares are for rationing, not revenue. Fares are user-fees. User fees are a device to prevent overuse of misuse of a service. Sometimes user-fees are useful and necessary to ensure that a public service accomplishes its goal. In public transit, the goal should be to increase ridership, as that lowers the unit cost and gives a better return on the public investment.
Evidence from Edmonton’s previous fare increases demonstrates that raising fares to fund the system prices people out of using the service. The City’s own numbers show that the last time they raised fares in 2016, the city estimated that over 400,000 fewer rides would be taken and their projections show that an additional increase to $4 in 2021 from the current rate would decrease yearly rides by 280,000. 
In a city that already suffers from chronically low mode share for transit, this is not just counterintuitive, it’s setting us up to fail on increasing ridership and decreasing emissions. 
Edmontonians deserve a transit system that they can rely on. As we move towards a just, green future, let’s make fare-free transit the reliable, accessible option.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

How to move people - reform or revolution?

Regarding moving people, what is the most critical need? Not cheap oil, not lithium, no. The most critical need in moving people, is activist energy.

Many high-profile people are calling for "fix it first." They say we cannot have fare-free public transit until we have good public transit.

When we limit ourselves to trying to improve something big, like the system that moves people, we are subject to endless division and delay over who gets what and when. What bus line will be expanded, where will light rail go? We have seen these things divide communities and bring fixes to a snail pace.

We need a revolution in thinking about how we move people. We need a mass campaign for free public transit. People will vote with their seat, and it will become obvious where more service is needed.

Let's not waste our activist energy on trimming around the edges.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Another domino falls -- Calais, France adopts #freepublictransport

Les Calaisiens trouvent le carburant trop cher ? Entendu, l’agglo se donne un an pour leur faire préférer le bus.

100 000 habitants sans ticket. Les maires des dix communes de l’agglomération de Calais se sont réunis et ont voté à l’unanimité la gratuité des bus. Elle sera actée sur tout le réseau avant 2020. Aujourd’hui, l’abonnement mensuel coûte une quinzaine d’euros. Demain, on montera sans débourser un centime.
google translate:
Calais residents find fuel too expensive? Understood, the agglo gives itself a year to make them prefer the bus. 
100,000 inhabitants without a ticket. The mayors of the ten municipalities of the agglomeration of Calais met and voted unanimously for free buses. It will be implemented on the entire network before 2020. Today, the monthly subscription costs around fifteen euros. Tomorrow we will go up without paying a dime.

Fix it first, or rather, go back to begging for a fix -- latest oil-troll gambit

"If transit is free, but it doesn't take you where you need to go (or on time), it isn't an alternative to driving. We must expand + complete our transit network, and we need higher frequencies and much higher reliability (esp. on bus routes) to make it an option for more people." -- Jennifer Keesmaat on Twitter

This is the latest and greatest from oil-auto-sprawl trolls. They want us to forget history. History shows that in spite of 100 years of fighting for better public transit it has only gotten worse compared to the growth of cars and sprawl. And how could it do otherwise, given the billions in subsidy to sprawl.
These trolls hope we will go back to spending 20 years fighting to stop a parking lot and put in bus shelters. 

We will not go back to begging. Free transit is coming and the idea is spreading and will continue.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Duluth MN, to spend $2.2 million on fareboxes

The new fare system will cost $2.2 million in total, with $440,000 being paid out of the DTA’s property tax levy fund. No timeline has been established for completing the project.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

WARNING - Prepare for counter attack against #freepublictransit

Production of US oil has been burning through borrowed money. World-wide sagging economies are putting downward pressure on oil price. For banks, this is a very serious situation. Every drop of oil in the ground is leveraged out many times.

A mass conversion to fare-free urban public transport is a threat to oil creditors. They will surely mobilize their trolls and attack viciously.

In addition there are millions of people who depend on sprawl subsidy for their profits. Cement, natural gas, appliances, DIY stores, home construction, and many more depend on sprawl and growth. They will strike back hard to keep their subsidies and profits.

As soon as the Kansas City success euphoria cools, they will surely start attacking.

Heroic Kansas City Mayor risks career to help poor and working class people

Lawmakers in Kansas City, Missouri took a "visionary step" on Thursday by unanimously voting to make public transportation in the city free of charge, setting the stage for it to be the first major U.S. city to have free public transit.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Car dependency a crushing weight on the backs of poor people

In The Appeal: Political Report in April, Daniel Nichanian wrote about obstacles to mobility for people living in North Carolina. Driver’s licenses were revoked for 1.2 million people in the state for failing to pay court fees and fines, without any opportunity to demonstrate their inability to pay. The inability to legally drive, in a state with poor transit options, can have disastrous consequences for people’s access to employment and make the same fees and fines that led to their license suspension even more impossible to pay. 
Nichanian wrote: “Poor transportation, whether it stems from difficulties in acquiring a car or accessing transit, can harm the reentry of people who are involved in the criminal legal system, independently of whether they are eligible to have a driver’s license.” This also underscored “the pernicious nature of ideas like a New York proposal to ban people from using the subway for life if they have been convicted of certain offenses.”

Oil desperate for customers as demand projections not being met

The Head of Oil Market Research at Rystad Energy, Bjørnar Tonhaugen, said, “We have a clear message to the OPEC+ countries: A ‘roll-over’ of the current production agreement is not enough to preserve a balanced market and ensure a stable oil price environment in 2020.
“The outlook will be bleak if OPEC+ fails to agree on additional cuts.”
According to Rystad Energy’s estimates, the global oil market will be fundamentally oversupplied to the tune of 0.8 million barrels per day in the first half of 2020.
“If OPEC and Russia don’t extend and deepen their cuts, we could see Brent Blend dip to the $40s next year for a shorter period,” Tonhaugen said.
“In order to ensure a balanced market, our research indicates that OPEC would need to reduce crude production to 28.9 million bpd – a drop of 0.8 million bpd from the level seen in the fourth quarter of 2019-levels – given our forecast for demand, non-OPEC supply and the impact of new IMO 2020 regulations on global crude runs,” Tonhaugen added.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Fight back against trolls and provocateurs - reframe and mute

The oil industry is desperate for customers, the massive oil-auto-sprawl system is collapsing. They pay trolls and provocateurs to stop efforts to implement fare-free public transit.

How to fight back.

First - reframe the debate. They want to restrict discussion to accounting, saying fare is revenue and needed for expense, or taxes have to go up. Instead let's talk about the costs of the current system and how free transit will reduce them more than lost fares. Here are places to get data on oil-auto-sprawl subsidy:

Second - use the mute button. Trolls want to sealion you. That means to drag you down into endless non-sequiturs. Provocateurs want you to run out and get arrested. Don't argue, give one reply if you want, then mute.

Concordia Newspaper makes the case for fare-free public transportation

On Tuesday, several climate groups held a protest to promote the elimination of transit fares, citing the need for radical action in the fight against climate change. 
Bold action and unprecedented public investment are necessary to limit catastrophic global warming, but the reasons this proposal makes sense go beyond climate considerations. 
As the organizers noted, free public transport would also have the effect of reducing income inequality, a major issue of our time. Not only this, but it would eliminate the need for problematic fare policing and promote more liveable cities by taking cars off the road.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Official world debt is $255 Trillion, falling oil demand a huge fear

Since 2005 there has not been a good price for oil. Any price is too high for consumers or too low for producers. Oil is NOT a commodity. It runs through every transaction in the economy. Without oil, there is no transport, without transport there is no economy.

All oil in the ground is borrowed against, and in many cases re-hyphothecated. Shale in the US is collapsing after running negative cash-flow for ten years. Why so much debt? Because the oil industry is more than rigs and tankers, it is roads, highways, suburbs, cul-de-sacs, DIY stores, ... in other words, sprawl. There is no quick way to get out of this commitment to hard assets.

Hard assets can not be allowed to run at a low percentage. They have to keep pumping and burning or else take huge losses.

Oil industry now is desperate for customers.

Hannover, Germany, 60% ridership increase in #freetransit test

According to initial findings, a good 60 percent more passengers would have used public transport than on another Saturday in the fall, according to Ustra's CEO Volkhardt KlOppner. 

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Everything's up-to-date in Kansas City

Friday, November 29, 2019

Must-read Q&A from @nephologue who established Garrett's constant #physics

From where comes the statement that we would need to build approximately 1 nuclear power plant (1 GW?) every day in order to (just) stabilize CO2 emissions?
The current annual rate of growth of global energy consumption is 2.3%, or a few hundred GW. In a fossil fuel economy, CO2 emissions rise with energy consumption. It is often advocated that increasing energy efficiency can stall energy consumption growth. What I have shown is that this is only true locally. Globally increasing energy efficiency accelerates growth through a generalized version of Jevon’s Paradox. This leaves switching to non-carbon fuel sources as the only option for meeting the goal of stabilizing emissions while growing the economy. Divide a few hundred GW annual growth by the number of days in a year and one obtains the figure of 1GW of non-carbon energy per day. That’s roughly one nuclear power plant per day.
Click here to

What's wrong with organizing fare strikes?

We need a mass movement to win fare-free public transit. Young people are impatient and are urged by provocateurs to charge ahead without thinking.

The people do not need to be "radicalized." They are already so. They are keeping their heads down and trying to survive. They do not want to get arrested and lose their job. They will come into the streets only when they see a chance of success.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Greenhouse gas level rise accelerating

Indeed, the rise in greenhouse gas levels appears to be accelerating, despite pledges made under the Paris Agreement to holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Beware of provocateurs

If you are participating in activities to promote free public transit please watch out for provocateurs.

Keep in mind that the oil, auto, and sprawl industries have billions in profits at stake. Any increase in public transit use is a direct threat to them. They have a lot of money and plenty of influence in government.

They will send out "super radicals" to get you in trouble. Beware of people who call for extreme action. Stay away from anyone who looks as if they intend violence or vandalism.

Click here for more.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

#renewables just add to the fire because of #jevons

Electricity demand in the country rose 36% in the seven years to April 2019 while coal-fired generation capacity during the period grew by 74% to 194.44 GW, according to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

India growth and plans for more growth will mean that any renewables added will not reduce fossil fuel use. They just add to the fire. Renewables promote growth. As long as there is demand, efficiencies are subsumed. Jevons principle.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Wow! Kansas City Mayor spills the beans on subsidy and racism!

Quinton Lucas: A few years ago in Kansas City, we brought back our streetcar system. It’s a short route that runs into downtown. We made all rides free. The area where the streetcar is is a higher-income, majority white, gentrified area. That started the talk of why are we subsidizing free rides to people making good money, but the clientele on the bus system in the largely black parts of town are still forced to pay?

...Lucas: Fares cover about $8 million a year, but we lose $1.5 million in collecting fares. The shortfall is about $6 million, and we can find that in the budget. The streetcar took $2 million from buses to [get the project started]. It was necessary startup funding in 2014, but in 2019 and 2020 it’s not.

The other step is improving how we spend money to stimulate economic development. After the recession, national firms came to us and said we’ll invest in downtown, but in exchange we need real guarantees and asked us to subsidize parking-garage costs. [In the last 10 years] taxpayers spent about $100 million subsidizing parking garages for these companies. 
...Lucas: We’ve crunched the numbers. Finding a few million in a large city budget is not that hard. We can wax poetic about fairness and equity in workforce opportunity, but there’s nothing more clear to me than saying, “Let’s help people, for many of whom $2,000 will make a world of difference.”

Will Scotland tip the scale for fare-free #publictransport?

An independent Scotland can establish itself as a global leader in climate action, the Scottish Greens will insist today as they launch their manifesto. 
The party, standing in more than 20 Scottish seats, will put climate change, free public transport and revamping region deals at the heart of their appeal to voters.

They will commit to rolling out free public transport, which would be paid for by the doubling of vehicle excise duty on high polluting cars and scrapping the freeze on fuel duty.


Sunday, November 24, 2019

Free Public Transport: an obvious way to address #climate and many other problems

China energy/emission going up, up, up.

China’s CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and cement production grew by an estimated 4% in the first half of 2019, analysis of preliminary data suggests. 
Power-sector emissions, which had driven the rebound in overall emissions since 2017, flattened off. However, there was a surge in real estate and infrastructure construction that saw emissions from steel and cement expand rapidly. 
Estimates based on preliminary data for the first half of 2019, compared to the same period last year, indicate that:
  • China’s coal demand increased by 3%;
  • Oil demand was up 6%;
  • Gas demand rose by 12%; and
  • Cement production increased by 7%.

Friday, November 22, 2019

China plans to start/restart 148 GW of coal-fired energy

China has enough coal-fired power plants in the pipeline to match the entire capacity of the European Union, driving the expansion in global coal power and confounding the movement against the polluting fossil fuel, according to a report. 
The nation has almost 148 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity under active construction or likely to be resumed after being suspended, Global Energy Monitor, a non-profit group that tracks coal stations, said in the report Thursday based on plant-by-plant data. That’s almost equivalent to 150 gigawatts of existing coal fleet capacity in the EU and more than the combined 105 gigawatts under construction in the rest of the world, it said.


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Private Equity vultures already feeding on shale corpse

PE is seeking to take advantage of depressed or under-appreciated asset valuations in a buyer’s market where, for strategic reasons, sellers are looking to release capital.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Cambridge, MA, city councilman calls for fare-free #publictransit

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. ― As New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority moves to hire $250 million worth of new transit cops to stop a supposed $200 million worth of fare evasion, this Massachusetts city’s newly elected socialist councilman has an entirely different proposal: Make transit free.

Kansas City, MO, takes another step toward fare-free #publictransit #freetransit

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Free public transit throughout all of Kansas City moved a step closer to becoming reality after a city council committee endorsed the idea on Wednesday.
Of course the trolls are screaming that free transit will be too expensive. But we can show that it will save much more in reduced car costs -- parking, congestion, health, etc, than what is lost in fares.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Offshore oil will peak soon, shale is ending, Brazil auction fails

(Bloomberg) -- Offshore oil production is expected to hit a peak in 2020 before joining the shale industry in a slowdown that could dramatically rewrite market supply predictions.
It was billed as the largest oil auction in history, one expected to produce a windfall. But analysts say a high signing bonus scared away bidders.
A few high-profile shale executives say the glory days of shale drilling are over.

How should we interpret this. There is a temporary glut of oil, but the long term is shortage. But there is no proper price because any price is too low for producers and too high for consumers. This is why there is such an attack on public transportation. Oil companies are producing on borrowed money and are desperate for customers. Meanwhile wars for oil are raging. 

Friday, November 15, 2019

Cities can no longer ignore the benefits of free public transit - Metro Magazine

There are many benefits of switching to a fare-free service. In addition to the significant ridership increases and more efficient operations by reducing dwell times, other benefits include: a significant drop in funding subsidy per passenger; reduction in administrative expenses related to fare collection; community recognition and pride; increased support from bus operators; and most importantly, going fare-free makes transit service equally available to everyone regardless of income.

#Freetransit reduces depression, improves cognitive function

We found that free bus travel significantly increased public transportation use but, in addition, it led to improvements in cognitive function – particularly, improved memory. 
In another study, we found that increased public transportation use also reduced depression and feelings of loneliness. It increased participation in volunteering activities and contact with older people’s adult children and friends. These findings show how a simple policy has had unintended positive consequences. It led to significant improvements in older people’s cognitive function and mental health – potentially by influencing social well-being.

Town of Maricá, Brazil, free system has 17,000 passengers per day, now adding 9 buses

Since 2013, when it was created, the EPT fleet has made over 15 million trips. Per day, the system carries 17 thousand passengers.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Trolls posing as bicycle advocates -- how to recognize

The oil, auto, and sprawl industries recognize that social media is important. On Twitter they have many paid trolls and volunteer wannabe trolls.

We have taken the wind out of the sails of the simple ones who post things like "who will pay?" by simply showing how oil, autos, and sprawl are heavily subsidized.

But they have clever trolls who pose as bicycle advocates. Here are some characteristics.

  • anti car-owner - they exacerbate division between car owners and bike/ped
  • accounting framing - they try to put public transit funding into an accounting box
  • eclectic timeline - their timeline is a mishmash of unrelated eye-catchers
  • LGBT provocation - they promote division over such matters
  • anything but free transit - they promote everything except fare-free as a solution
  • sea-lioning/non-sequitur/logical fallacy - standard troll practice

We recommend giving them one response, and then mute.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Candidate for US Congress calls for fare-free #publictransit

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Qatar using air conditioning to cool outdoor areas

Cooling units along walkways and outdoor seating areas in Qatar's cities make it possible for people to stroll or relax in the evening without danger of overheating. Qatar is also engineering ways to cool entire open-air stadiums to make them bearable for spectators.

How much can #freetransit save your city in gasoline costs

US consumption of gasoline [petrol] is 1.2 gallons per person per day average.

If your city has 1,000,000 people, the people are paying $3.6 million dollars per day for gasoline.

Most of that money goes out-of-town.

How much could your city save with fare-free public transit?

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Which city in US will be first with fare-free #publictransit? Denver?

No major American city has opted for completely fare-free public transportation. But a growing number of transit advocates in Denver and elsewhere are embracing the idea as a way to reduce road congestion, improve air quality, tackle climate change and more. In Salt Lake City, where several mayoral and city council candidates endorsed free citywide bus service earlier this year, a poll found that voters favored the proposal by a three-to-one margin.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Daily TarHeel Op-Ed calling for #freepublictransit

It’s time for public transit in the Triangle to be fare-free. Climate change and traffic are two challenges that our rapidly growing Triangle region needs to tackle — now. And while each is complex with no simple solution, there is one action that our local governments can take that would help both: adopting fare-free public transit.

Dunkirk, France. #Freetransit is a huge success

The French city of Dunkirk has been offering free public transport to its citizens for a year, and results are spectacular. The number of passengers has grown by 65% during the week and 125% at the weekend, for an average of +85%. Mayor, citizens, and shop-owners all rejoice of the positive outcome.

Monday, November 4, 2019

#freetransit is good for everyone

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Racist terror in NYC

Friday, November 1, 2019

We are being misled on how public transit is funded

The oil industry and sprawl profiteers would like us to think that fares are an indispensable part of funding public transit. For this reason, fares are reported as a percentage of operating costs. Capital costs, usually equal or greater than operating costs, are not included.

So if they are saying "fares provide 20% of the cost of public transit" it is more likely that the true number is 10%.

Another myth is that small system can afford removing fares while big systems cannot. Actually the opposite is true. For small systems, the fixed costs are a higher percentage of totals costs. So the per rider cost is higher. By removing fares, small systems hope to increase usage and thereby lower the cost-per-rider. This would work even better for large systems because the marginal cost of adding a rider is smaller.

The biggest lie of all is the framing of public transit funding. It is treated as an accounting of one department of government. The costs of the other departments are not considered. What if removing fares in the transit department lowered the costs of the the parking department for example. This type of thing is kept out of the framing.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Study shows #freetransit good for health of seniors

(Reuters Health) - Eliminating cost as a barrier to getting around town may improve the mental health of older adults by reducing loneliness and lack of social engagement, suggests a UK study that followed over 18,000 people for more than a decade. 
Researchers found that increased eligibility for a free bus pass led to an 8 percent increase in the use of public transportation among older people, and a 12 percent decline in depression symptoms among those who started taking the bus when they became eligible for the program. 
Among the depression symptoms that people who took up bus travel reported as reduced were “not enjoying life,” trouble sleeping, feeling unhappy, lonely, sad, not motivated or that everything was an effort, the study team notes in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

City in Hungary chooses #freepublictransit

Hódmezővásárhely will soon become the first Hungarian city with county rights to make public transport completely free of charge, one of the promises of the town’s reelected mayor, Péter Márki-Zay. 
....He told economic investigative site G7 that the decision has social reasons, citing the example of a local who rides three kilometers on a bike each Sunday for mass because the ticket price is unaffordable for him. Meanwhile, local buses -with the exception of weekday mornings and after school and work- are generally empty. “On the weekends, literally only one or two people can be found sitting on the buses,” he argued. 
Márki-Zay also revealed that the total cost of the system’s operation amounts to 110 million HUF (Eur 349,000) per year. However, less than 10% of this actually comes from ticket sales. Half of the rest has thus far been financed out of state subsidies and the other half by the town’s budget.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Having more riders makes public transit better

Prompted by concerns over congestion and pollution, the European countries of Estonia and Luxembourg already offer it, and Germany is considering it. Removing fares clearly makes transit more desirable; when Talinn, Estonia’s capital, adopted free public transportation in 2013, ridership immediately spiked 10 percent. Such ridership gains would certainly be welcome in the United States, where 31 of the 35 largest transit agencies saw passenger counts dip in 2017. Unlike most goods, transit gets better with heavier usage because more frequent bus and train service will reduce wait times.

There aren't any good arguments against fare-free #publictransit, so,.. out come the trolls

The oil industry, gas industry, and lesser sprawl profiteers don't have any good arguments against making urban buses and trams fare-free. We list the arguments they have tried to use here. With this list we include links to refutations.

Lately they have unleashed the "city planners" and "urbanists" who write complicated analyses that purport to show that free transit does not work. Mostly they provide assertions without evidence. While we can shows dozens of examples of free transit that works just fine.

The most common attack is that free transit is too expensive. But we showed that it actually saves money.

Now they send out the trolls -- disguised as bicycle advocates or urban experts. Here is one:

We expect many more.

Monday, October 28, 2019

List of officials and candidates who support fare-free #publictransit

Many candidates and public officials around the world are calling for fare-free urban public transportation. We are trying to keep up with the growing list. Please tweet us any additions or corrections.
To candidates and officials, see this blog for links to helpful documentation about the benefits of fare-free and the subsidy of the auto system.

What is #autosprawl meltdown? It's when bill comes due for a bad investment in sprawl.

What we have found is that the underlying financing mechanisms of the suburban era — our post-World War II pattern of development — operates like a classic Ponzi scheme, with ever-increasing rates of growth necessary to sustain long-term liabilities.
Since the end of World War II, our cities and towns have experienced growth using three primary mechanisms:
  • Transfer payments between governments: where the federal or state government makes a direct investment in growth at the local level, such as funding a water or sewer system expansion.
  • Transportation spending: where transportation infrastructure is used to improve access to a site that can then be developed.
  • Public and private-sector debt: where cities, developers, companies, and individuals take on debt as part of the development process, whether during construction or through the assumption of a mortgage.
In each of these mechanisms, the local unit of government benefits from the enhanced revenues associated with new growth. But it also typically assumes the long-term liability for maintaining the new infrastructure. This exchange — a near-term cash advantage for a long-term financial obligation — is one element of a Ponzi scheme.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

What is so difficult about #freetransit

There are people calling for revolution on climate who will not endorse fare-free public transit.

There are people who take free roads for granted who shout "tin foil hat!" when free transit is suggested.

What is the problem?

Fare-free public transit strikes at the heart of capitalism. Today's capitalism is based on corruption and subsidy. The car system is subsidized to the point that people assume that car costs are necessary costs and not subsidy. Even bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure are car subsidy, but people fight for them thinking they are making a change.

When buses are fare-free, many more ride, this is proven. Then the critical mass of the car will be broken, and the subsidy will be exposed.

Many people will lose profits. So basically one of the main fronts of profits vs biosphere is the car.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Talk is cheap - let's see who is serious about addressing #climate

Wars for oil have brought hell to the world

The world powers have been fighting over oil for many years. Meanwhile the banks re-hypothecate credit way beyond what oil can deliver.

As debt defaults loom, the wars will get worse and more countries will turn their "defense" arsenals against their own people.

We need to speed up the demand for fare-free public transit. It's an effective weapon to degrow the economy by reducing sprawl and births.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

A mass movement for #freetransit, can happen, is happening.

The #passelivre #tarifazero movement in Brazil has been fighting for many years for fare-free public transportation. They have brought tens of thousands into the streets, and sparked a mass uprising that spread to all the major cities.

You can read about it here. Posts in English and Portuguese with links to organizations.

US Car-loan debt at $1.2 Trillion, more payments being missed

"Some of the loans that are being given out are given out to people who probably can't afford to take out that loan," Rusch said. "[They] will not be able to repay that loan over time."
The U.S. Federal Reserve Board says the number of families missing car payments is rising, and "...there are now more subprime auto loan borrowers than ever, and thus a larger group of borrowers at high risk of delinquency."


Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Trimet pushes racist campaign, gets hammered by huge ratio

This is new. Even Greenpeace is calling for #freetransit

Up till now Greenpeace has mostly focused on useless supply-side actions against fossil fuel. Or useless demand-side policy such as electric cars. This is a big change.

We are part of an international campaign

This blog is one of a 40-blog network with 2,000 readers per day average and the network is part of a larger international campaign. Here is the international website.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Racist terror in NYC

More than 60 percent of people arrested for fare evasion in the second quarter of the year were black or African-American, according to the most recent fare evasion data published by the NYPD. Another 25 percent were listed as “Hispanic.”

Sunday, October 20, 2019

People on Tumbler talking about fare-free #publictransit

If it is paid for by the public, then the public should not be forced to pay for it twice.
Free public transportation opens up the world to the poor. It absolutely stimulates the economy in that poor people then have the ability to travel without worrying about whether or not they can afford it, however we should not base our policies in the richest nation on earth on whether or not it stimulates the economy.
The United States of America has more than enough money to provide free and safe public transportation to all who seek to use it, they do not provide it because they’re in cahoots with oil and auto industries.
Forcing people to pay for what already belongs to the public is a form of government welfare given to the rich capitalists at the public’s expense.
You are paying for billionaires to continue hoarding billions when you pay for, and support paying for, public transportation.
Furthermore public transportation is incomplete if we don’t strive to make it accessible to all, this includes the disabled, the elderly, children, etc.
French city of Dunkirk tests out free transport – and it works

Piñera suspends the rise in the price of the subway and the Army decrees curfew for Santiago

The president of Chile recalls after an unprecedented wave of violence in the capital and the rest of the country. The Army has decreed curfew for the Chilean capital...
...The military that took control of Santiago de Chile this morning has failed to stop the violent protests in different areas of the city, which over time have spread to different regions of the country. Twenty-one hours after decreeing the state of emergency for the capital, which restricts citizens the freedom of transfer and assembly for 15 days...
Look. See how important this is to the elites? They need us to buy and burn oil. They can't stand it when we use public transportation. This is because banks are leveraged out too far on oil. They want to raise fares -- -NOT TO GET MONEY --- but to reduce ridership and get more people driving.

Link to story: https://elpais.com/internacional/2019/10/19/actualidad/1571506476_320721.amp.html?

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Oil and debt

Why has Chile declared a state of emergency to enforce a fare hike?

In 2005, conventional [easy-to-get] oil peaked. Every day the world's massive oil-dependent, fixed-asset, infrastructure depends more on difficult oil, expensive oil.

This infrastructure: highways, refineries, pipelines, suburbs, shipping, etc., is resting on huge amounts of debt that was created with the idea that oil would always be cheap.

Now the end of cheap oil has created a cul-de-sac. Oil price is too low for producers, but too high for consumers. But the oil-dependent infrastructure, if not fed, will bleed money.

They need people to use cars more and public transport less. So they raise fares.

They are literally beating up school girls to save the banking system.

Elections in Canada and New Zealand raising interest in fare-free #publictransit/#publictransport

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

48% percent of new [free] bus users say they use the car less

The free bus service started in September of 2018. Since then, there has been an increase in ridership, rising 57% during the week and 115% on weekends. In 2019, the figures that were available to Ubris were a 65% increase on weekdays and 125% on weekends from January through May. 
From February through May, which coincided with Carnival, the figures rose even higher: a 72% increase during the week and 144% on the weekends. 48% of new bus users have indicated they use their cars less. In other words, they chose the free bus over driving their cars. Project Manager, Claire-Marine Javary of VIGS, also pointed out that, “When compared to the total number of users surveyed, 24% make bus journeys they used to make by car.”

Sunday, October 13, 2019

"free public transportation" buzzing on Twitter

Monday, October 7, 2019

Does free public transportation lead to less walking? [No].

Some "planners" are saying that fare-free public transit will lead to less walking and cycling. Here is a study from VTPI that show that public transit increases physical activity. Some excerpts:
Since active transport (walking and cycling) and public transit are complements, transit travel tends to increase public fitness and health.
The 2004 American Community Survey found that consumers place a high value on urban amenities such as shorter commute time and neighborhood walkability: 60% of prospective homebuyers surveyed reported that they prefer a neighborhood that offered a shorter commute, sidewalks and amenities like local shops, restaurants, libraries, schools and public transport over a more automobile-dependent community
Described differently, high quality transit requires an integrated system that includes attractive stops and stations surrounded by compact and mixed development, good walking and bicycling conditions, reduced parking supply, and more social acceptance of non-auto travel;
Residents of transit-oriented developments tend to own about half as many vehicles, generate half as many vehicle trips, and rely on walking, cycling and public transit much more than in automobile-dependent communities (Arrington and Sloop 2009).
Similarly, Wedderburn (2013) found that in New Zealand urban areas, each additional daily transit trip by driving age (18+ years) residents is associated with 0.95 more walking trips and 1.21 kilometers (in addition to the walking trips to access transit), and reductions of two daily car driver trips and 45 vehicle-kms, approximately 5 kilometers of reduced vehicle travel for each additional transit passenger-km.
Inadequate physical activity contributes to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, osteoporosis and some cancers. Many experts consider increased walking and cycling for daily transport one of the most practical ways to increase public fitness and health (AJHP 2003). Most transit trips include walking or cycling links, so transit travel tends to increase physical activity (Devries, et al. 2018; Edwards 2008; Frank, et al. 2010; Litman 2010b). Public transit users average about three times as much walking as people who rely on automobile transport, nearly achieving the 22 daily minutes of moderate physical activity considered necessary for health (Besser and Dannenberg 2005; Weinstein and Schimek 2005; Wener and Evans 2007). Lachapelle, et al. (2011) found that transit commuters average 5 to 10 more daily minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, and walked more to local services

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Cars do more than burn petrol, much more.

A lot of "thinkers" are down-playing the fare-free public transit campaign because they look at cars solely for what they directly add to emissions.

The car is much more than that. It is the cigarette that delivers the cancer of sprawl and growth.

The US led, and the developed world followed, into a commitment to many $Trillions in hard-asset car-dependent infrastructure. People spread and grew, taking over farmland and forests.

By hard-assets, we mean built of steel and cement. This is the autosprawl nightmare.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Car tires filling the oceans with plastic

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENTThe biggest likely source of microplastics in California coastal waters? Our car tires

A new study finds that tire dust and fragments appear to be the largest source of microplastics polluting San Francisco Bay, and it is likely that the same is true for other coastal waters in California.
(David Madison / Getty Images)By ROSANNA XIASTAFF WRITER OCT. 2, 2019 8:15 AMBERKELEY —
Driving is not just an air pollution and climate change problem — turns out, it just might be the largest contributor of microplastics in California coastal waters.
That is one of many new findings, released Wednesday, from the most comprehensive study to date on microplastics in California. Rainfall washes more than 7 trillion pieces of microplastics, much of it tire particles left behind on streets, into San Francisco Bay each year — an amount 300 times greater than what comes from microfibers washing off polyester clothes, microbeads from beauty products and the many other plastics washing down our sinks and sewers.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Free is cheaper

Some of the arguments against fare-free public transportation:
  • Homeless will take over
  • Buses will be too crowded
  • Pedestrians will ride instead of walk
  • Bikers will ride instead of bike
We address most of these here.

But the biggest lie is that fare-free costs too much.

In the US, it would cost about $100 per household per year. Nationwide it would cost about $30 billion. That is not a lot of money compared to what is spent on subsidizing autos, fossil fuel, and sprawl, all of which could be reduced if vehicle miles are reduced.

When your city makes the buses fare-free, here are some the the areas you will save money.
  • police costs
  • pedestrian infrastructure
  • collisions
  • health
  • congestion
  • parking
  • noise
  • road rage
  • bureaucracy
  • fare collection and security
  • many more....
A family [in the US] would save about $100 per week if they could reduce their household by one car. They can also save on petrol and healthcare costs. They will get more exercise by walking to bus stops.

The benefits far outweigh the amount of the lost fares.

for more:

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Must-read for all scientists. Are you accepting anti-scientific theory from macro economists?

Do you mistrust the predictions of mainstream macroeconomic growth models and reject the policy prescriptions of their practitioners? Many do. 
Is this fair? And what would we do instead? 
How about using physics ? Certainly as a field it has a pretty good track-record for describing nature, at least as an alternative to religion and magic. The big thing in physics as a field or any other science is that it demands falsifiable hypotheses rather than the opinion or Ivy league pedigree of its practitioners. Results should enable useful predictions, those that offer the potential for robust long-range forecasts subject to physical constraints.
Read the post here: http://nephologue.blogspot.com/2019/09/why-use-physics-to-describe-economics.html

Friday, September 27, 2019

Trolls are trying to create division and confusion over individual actions vs policy actions

Trolls have a new trick.

They call on people to stop eating meat, stop driving cars, etc.

If you are calling on people to do something, then that now becomes policy action. The question then becomes not what type it is, but rather whether it is effective or not.

But the trolls insist on pushing it as "individual action," they are trying to spread division and confusion.

When you engage in the public square, you are engaging in policy action.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Dunkirk, France, ridership up 60% with fare-free public transportation

An academic study on the experience shows that bus use has skyrocketed more than 60% on weekdays and more than doubled on weekends, with 48% of users saying they now leave their cars at home. Furthermore, 5% of those surveyed said they have sold their car or decided not to purchase a second vehicle. A third said that the availability of free buses means they now make trips they wouldn’t have otherwise. This increased demand is not due solely to the availability of free and convenient transportation, but also to the fact that it is frictionless: people don’t have to worry about travel cards, cash or identification.

More on planners and fare-free first

City planners have to keep their careers in the face of overwhelming power of the oil industry. They cannot, and will not, advocate for fare-free public transit.

They will say that even if it is to be fare-free, it must be upgraded first.


Because while there is a large majority in favor of better public transit, when it gets to actually improving, it is easy to get bogged down in divisive detail. Which bus line should get more buses first? Where should we put rail?

To avoid this, build a mass movement for fare-free public transportation. After it is free, it will become obvious where to spend money for better service.


Fare-free first

Should we wait for expansion of service before making public transportation fare-free?


Here is why.

No company would build an additional production facility without having customer orders for their product.

If a city invests in more buses without sufficient rider demand, cost-per-rider will rise sharply. The city will then be vulnerable to political attack for wasting tax money.

Urban buses should be fare-free first. Rail should be taken case by case.

When the buses are crowded, it will be obvious what the people want and there will be more people demanding better service... more political constituency for public transportation in general.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Vaclav Smil: economic growth will end one way or another

... Without a biosphere in a good shape, there is no life on the planet. It’s very simple. That’s all you need to know. The economists will tell you we can decouple growth from material consumption, but that is total nonsense. The options are quite clear from the historical evidence. If you don’t manage decline, then you succumb to it and you are gone. The best hope is that you find some way to manage it. We are in a better position to do that now than we were 50 or 100 years ago, because our knowledge is much vaster. If we sit down, we can come up with something. It won’t be painless, but we can come up with ways to minimize that pain.

Friday, September 20, 2019

People of Egypt rise up against Trump's "favorite dictator"

Why auto collisions are called accidents

On social media there are constant complaints about drivers killing and injuring people and not being held accountable. Why is this so?

Over 40 years ago in the US, employers complained that DUI convictions were hurting their work force dependability.

They came up with a "hardship license." This allows a drivers who lose their license to get to work.

People are not held accountable for reckless vehicle use because it would decimate the work force.

The problem is not people. The problem is the auto system. It doesn't work. It never has.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Fare-free #publictransit idea getting attention from candidates for office

An example of a candidate for office calling for fare-free public transport/transit.
Our list of politicians calling for free transit is growing every day, keep up here:

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

What does attack on ARAMCO mean?

The energy situation in the world shifted in 2005 when conventional oil [easy-to-drill] production peaked. Now prices are too low for producers and too high for consumers. This problem gets worse every day as remaining conventional reserves are drawn down at a rapid rate.

Large amounts of debt have been created to pay the difference between what the consumer can afford and what the producers need. This debt is a bet on future growth.

But there is no more growth. There is no more cheap energy.

Wars over oil/gas will get worse. More production and pipeline facilities will be attacked as they are spread out and very difficult to protect.

This will just make the markets more difficult and produce more war. It's a feedback loop.

Youth want #freepublictransit not cap and trade

Monday, September 16, 2019

End of cheap energy means no more profits

Price of energy too low for producers, too high for consumers. The gap has been filled by debt. But debt is a bet on future profits, but there is no more cheap energy, so there won't be any future profits.
Our problem is not just that oil prices that are too low. Prices are too low for practically every type of energy producer, and in many parts of the globe.
The world economy seems to be running out of truly productive uses for debt. There are investments available, but the rate of return is very low. The lack of investments with adequate return is a significant part of what is preventing the economy from being able to support higher interest rates.