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:

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.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Fare-free #publictransit works

The city of Dunkirk in northern France launched a revamped bus system last year with a twist – it’s completely free. A new study shows that the programme is not only revitalising the city center but also helping the environment. 

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Fix and expand or remove fares right away, which path?

There are public transit advocates and city planners who say that public transit must first be fixed and expanded before it can be made fare-free.


People have fought for 100 years for better public transit.

It has only gotten worse relative to need, and in some places absolutely worse.

The idea of fare-free is to force the issue. It will show that people want public transit, because ridership will go up. Then we will have the constituency to fix and expand.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Student #publictransit riders face intimidation in Seattle

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Ridership soars with fare-free #publictransit

Since the introduction of free public transport in Tartu County last July, the number of bus passengers on county routes has seen significant growth, regional Tartu Postimees reports.

A total of 131,269 passengers used the free regional bus service in July 2018, up 35.2 percent on year from 97,083 in July 2017, Tartu County Public Transport Centre management board member Tõnis Piir said. This July, the number of passengers using the county's free transport totaled 153,049, indicating a further 16.6 percent growth on year in ridership. 

CEO of Kansas City Area Transportation Authority wants it to be fare-free

Robbie Makinen, CEO of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, has more important matters to discuss than his inability to see. Ask about his vision loss, and he'll redirect the conversation. 
Yes, he said, he woke up completely blind one morning in 2013, but, "let’s talk about free transit." 

Salt Lake City close to implementing #freepublictransit

Salt Lake City may soon become the first major American city with free public transit, as voters and mayoral candidates get behind the idea 0f eliminating fares as a way of attacking rampant air pollution. 

Kansas City considering #freepublictransit
Could Kansas City Become the First Major US City with Totally Free Public Transit?