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:

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.