Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Cost of cars - oil wars

US, Russia, and several other countries fighting to control energy reserves and routes in MENA. Here is a camp of Syrian people chased out of their towns by Russia bombs. To stop these wars, we have to get off oil.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

People in Worcester, MA, have their say. They say #freepublictransit.

WORCESTER - Advocates for a fare-free Worcester bus system filled the City Council chamber Monday night to make their case. 
...During 90 minutes of public testimony, 37 people spoke, a vast majority in favor of giving the fare-free system a try. 
Those who spoke included representatives from the local business community, college students, environmental advocates, community and social justice activists, and many everyday riders of Worcester Regional Transit Authority buses. 
“We can lead to way in Worcester by making public transportation free across the board,” said Candria Gray, co-chair of the Zero Fare Coalition and a frequent WRTA bus rider. “There is a clear demand for a fare-free system. We just need the decision-makers to embrace it.” 
Etel Haxhiaj, also with the Zero Fare Coalition, said a fare-free bus system would eliminate a financial burden for many people. That, in turn, would likely increase ridership, she said. 
“Worcester is a city of immigrants, refugees and working families who depend on well-connected bus service,” Haxhiaj said. “To pay for bus service is a big deal for them. People recognize the importance of having a reliable, free and dependable bus service. A Worcester renaissance is not a renaissance without a free transportation system that everyone can benefit from.” 
Many also spoke about the need to make the bus service more reliable and efficient, to expand service to more areas of the city and to have more frequent buses on many routes.
Tanya Whitworth of the Independent Socialist Group said a fare-free WRTA is a crucial first step toward expanding public transportation. Bu,t she added, many bus riders are unhappy with the WRTA’s current reach.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Good to see some candidates taking the bull by the horns

Monday, February 17, 2020

Oil trolls provide lies to balance with truth

Here are some troll lies embedded in an NBC story about free public transit.
"But some experts warn that free rides wouldn't solve the issues besetting many public transit systems, including crumbling infrastructure, infrequent and unreliable service, and routes that take workers nowhere near their jobs."
Whataboutism. What about the crumbling infrastructure? What does that have to do with fares? If anything, it shows that charging fares has done nothing for infrastructure.
"For that reason, city leaders should not look at eliminating fares as a "panacea" for transit problems, said Hayley Richardson, a spokeswoman for TransitCenter, a nonprofit group based in New York City that works to improve public transit around the country."
Who is claiming a panacea? Name one.
Instead of eliminating fares, Richardson said, cities need to prioritize creating transit systems that actually serve their customers. The best scenario would be cities where buses arrive every five minutes in dedicated lanes and a country where most Americans can walk to transit.
Here are 15 cases of free public transit where service was expanded and/or improved after fares were removed: 

Removing fares in Kansas City $5 million. Stadium renovation $325 million.

He said critics rarely ask where the money comes from for other projects, like the hundreds of millions of dollars spent each year on building and maintaining streets or the $325 million to renovate Arrowhead Stadium, where the Kansas City Chiefs play. 
"That costs us and local government tens of millions of dollars a year," he said. "So I think the real question people have to ask is 'Do we care about the public?'" 

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Systems and critical mass, the tipping point as unsustainable #autosprawl collapses

One reason that free public transit is fiercely opposed is that autosprawl infrastructure will lose volume. For example, highways will carry fewer cars, thus decreasing return on a public investment.

That is not the fault of free public transit. That is the fault of the profiteers who used deceptive practices and bullied us into this unsustainable system. By the way, unsustainable means: can. not. continue.

When urban buses are fare-free, car use will hit a tipping point and lose critical mass. Profits will be hit, public investment in autos will lose value. Autosprawl will be exposed. People will see autosprawl welfare for what it is and reject it.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Is the Federal Reserve the main problem?

If only we could stop the Federal Reserve printing money and get back to real economy, things will be better. Is that true?

Cheap oil is over, and what is left in the ground is leveraged and re-hypothecated. The real economy is overwhelmed. It will contract one way or another.

Official world debt is over $250 Trillion. But that amount is trivial compared to the debt we owe the biosphere, a debt that cannot be paid in money.

The purpose of the money printing is to try to push the suffering onto the weak.

Right now, not on cable news, but in real life, wars for energy mean poor people are being tortured, murdered, bombed, and herded into refugee camps, and then the camps are bombed. Local economies are being drained by high interest rates. Ethnic tensions are being stoked, and massacres allowed.

Meanwhile, energy is subsidized and wasted on cars and sprawl.

The best way to reduce the pain is to undo sprawl as rapidly as possible.

Reform or revolution?

If we try to reform transportation in cities, we will be dragged into a mire of detail and conflicting interests. The public will soon be bored and discouraged.

Instead, let us stop trying to plan our way out of the auto system mess. Let's take a revolutionary step and make the buses fare-free, and respond to demand. Let the people then, by their choices, show us where the trams, connectors, and network nodes should be.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Oil is not a commodity

Transport --  ships, trucks, trains, planes, and cars all depend on liquid fuel.

The cost of oil is a value-added tax that trickles through every transaction, and every physical activity, in the real economy. Cheap oil production peaked in 2005. Every day since, it takes more joules to get oil to wheels, propellers, and assembly lines than it did the day before. This is a built-in drag on the world economy.

Sitting above the real economy, central banks make up the difference by creating money on their keyboards. This increased debt creates additional economic drag by extracting interest from the real economy.

Any threat to oil-demand is a threat to the bankers. This is why they will attack free public transit.

They want to make riding public transit an unpleasant experience.

Expect attack. Expect intimidation. Expect sowing of doubt and uncertainty.

Bill introduced in US Congress calls for #freepublictransit

#freepublictransit in Tallinn spread to 11 counties in Estonia with 32% ridership increase

The success of the scheme in Tallinn led to a demand for free public transport elsewhere in Estonia, and legislation was introduced to allow it to be introduced on a county by county basis. When the legislation came into force on in July last year, 11 out of 15 counties opted to provide free transport. In those counties, public transport trips increased by an average of 32% in the second half of 2018.

This is why free public transit is so scary to the banksters who have bet too much on oil and sprawl. Free public transit leads to more efficient cities, which leads to more public transit, and so on. They can't stop it.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Expensive tight oil has peaked, debts defaulting, demand sagging, second correction overdue

The plateauing of conventional crude oil production in January 2005 was one of the triggers of events leading to the 2008 global financial crash, according to the report. As debt built-up in the subprime mortgage sector, the crude oil plateau drove up the underlying energy costs for the entire economy making that debt more difficult to repay—and eventually resulting in catastrophic defaults. The report warns that “unresolved” dynamics in the global energy system were only temporarily relieved due to "Quantitative Easing"—the creation of new money by central banks. A correction is now overdue, it warns. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Legislation introduced in NYC to make all subways and buses fare-free

Monday, February 10, 2020

#freepublictransit advocate running for US Senate

Saturday, February 8, 2020

More buses needed, not hyperloop, self-driving-car scams

The typical general-purpose lane of traffic in a city can carry around 1,000-2,000 people per hour. If you create a bus-only lane, that number jumps up to 4,000-8,000 per hour. If you give over more of the street to transit and create a transitway that goes up to 10,000-25,000 people per hour. 

Bankers face defaults as oil demand falls, increase attack on #freepublictransport

The big banks sit on top of the world economy, extracting interest and draining its life. Now they have impoverished people to the extent that the world economy is sagging badly. No one can afford the oil-tax that is baked into every economic activity, but oil producers can not afford to produce at lower prices.

There is no near-term solution to this paradox except debt default.

To cut their losses, the bankers are mounting a troll attack on the campaign for free public transport. They are setting up straw men, such a claiming that free public transport advocates say that it is a solution to everything.

They are especially concerned about Luxembourg. They are trying to make it all about traffic congestion, and six months in to free transport there, they will have a "study" and declare it a failure.

People will fight back, because they can't afford to get to work, school, shopping, or doctor.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Oil industry, already desperate for customers, hit by #coronavirus

China’s oil demand amid the coronavirus outbreak is likely inflicting the worst oil demand shock to markets since the financial crisis of 2008-2009, with Chinese demand plunging by 20 percent compared to the typical demand for the season, sources with inside knowledge of the Chinese industry told Bloomberg.

Oil price already too low for producers, now, a new threat. Expect more money-printing and bank bailouts. Oil industry is made up of steel and cement. If these assets run under capacity, something has to give.

Trolls focus on accounting, not economics, to oppose #freepublictransit

Treating your local transit agency as a business and treating fares as revenue is a scam.

Public transit is not subsidized, sidewalks are not subsidized, public schools are not subsidized -- they are all public investment that produce benefits far beyond their budgets.

Trolls want to bury us in numbers by treating fares as revenue, and investment as subsidy.

Subsidy means public money going to support for-profit concerns, such as the auto system, for example.

Don't fall for this, reframe the discussion to include the cost of autos and sprawl. What are those costs? Here is a place to find them.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Where is the money?

Around the world people are struggling for food, shelter, health, and education.

Meanwhile governments are giving fossil-fuels 10 million US dollars per minute.

Those fossil-fuels are being used to fuel autosprawl.

Autosprawl is a system whereby people live spread out. Every building must be heated and cooled separately. Most activities require a vehicle.

So, many people are going without food, shelter, health, and education so that this system can absorb all the money for the purpose of wasting energy.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Candidate for Congress calls for #freepublictransit

Fighting #racism is critical to winning #freepublictransit

Racism keeps people divided, poor, and politically weak.

All working and poor people are adversely affected.


The very small percent who profit from racism would like us to think that it is about personal preference and there is nothing can be done. That is not true. Racism is for profit, money, power.

We need to show people that when we don't fight racism, we hand victory to our oppressor.