Friday, April 23, 2010

Bike Forum discusses free public transportation

All transportation is subsidized. People drive on the road for "free" (except tollways) and probably more tax dollars subsidize that than go towards public transportation. In the US the gas tax certainly does not cover anywhere near the cost of providing roads. As I understand it, University of British Columbia students get "free" transit in Vancouver subsidized by various means. I think it is a great idea. The city is very well served by public transit and that makes it attractive and cheap for other users. -- cooker, on bike forum

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What is it like to have free public transit?

This city of 70,000 residents, with 300,000 commuters from the surrounding area, has made traveling by bus easy, affordable, and efficient. Now, people in Hasselt often speak of "their" bus system, and with good reason. The Boulevard Shuttle leaves you waiting for at most five minutes, the Central Shuttle has a 10 minute frequency, and system-wide you never have to wait more than a half an hour... -- Dave Olsen writing about free transit in Hasselt original in the Tyee, republished by Public Values.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Wrong Way - Translink fare increases

Rapidly rising fares are in themselves a form of privatization. As the fares increase, the burden of paying for transit shifts from governments—using tax revenues—onto individual riders. This “user pay” model undermines the very essence of a public service—that a necessary public good is paid for by the public and user fees (if any) are set at a nominal rate that ensures broad public access. The redistributive function of public services like transit was one of the things that made it possible for low-wage workers, the unemployed, and low-income seniors and students to survive economically in a context of stagnant incomes. As we constantly hear from bus riders when we are organizing on the bus and in the community, “everything is going up except our wages”