Tuesday, January 21, 2020

What's so scary about #freepublictransit?

Why is fare-free public transit/transport treated differently from other public goods? Why must there be a user-fee?

The answer lies in understanding autosprawl. Trillions of dollars have been sunk into everything from cul-de-sacs and DIY stores, to ocean tankers and refineries. The web of liquid-fuel fixed infrastructure covers human developed habitat, and controls the flow of the entire economy.

The whole thing is leveraged in debt far beyond recovery.

When oil was cheap, too much was borrowed against the future. Now, cheap oil is draining fast. Every day it takes more joules to get a joule. So now we have super-borrowing to "pay the mortgage."

When people discover the benefits of fare-free public transit, they demand more, and then they discover the subsidy to autos and sprawl. They will reject that subsidy, and demand more fare-free public transit.

This is what has the banks and bondholders shaking in their suites.