Friday, July 5, 2019

Why isn't public transit free?

We have been conditioned to think of public transit as a project that needs fares for revenue, but always runs in the red and has to be subsidized.

  • 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
If fares are removed, ridership will go up. More buses will be needed. They will then be more frequent. That will lead to more ridership. That will increase the need for buses. The needs of cars will have to compete with buses for funding. The critical mass of the system of transport will shift.

Can you see the danger this poses to those who profit from oil, autos, and sprawl?

This then, is the reason that public transit is not fare-free.