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Re: [CF] why not make city transit free?

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  • Sahar
    Why do Americans hate the word socialised ? To me it means community, health, transport and caring for the less well off (like the sick, elderly and
    Message 1 of 26 , Jul 28, 2007
      Why do Americans hate the word 'socialised'? To me it means community, health, transport and caring for the less well off (like the sick, elderly and disabled).
      Community transport that doesn't rely on the car (which is a selfish me me me form of transport) actually benefits the economy. I wont go into free medicine etc cos thats a whole different topic.
      Car use is heavily subsidised anyhow. I've been reading about bio-diesel.

      S

      De Clarke <de@...> wrote:
      > > A Prescription for Socialized Transportation
      >
      > TF: Your critics couldn't have done better.

      private auto use is even more heavily socialised.

      [snip]
    • Sahar
      Both sound like good options to me. The UK Govt are considering pay per mile schemes but as you can imagine, all the motorists are seething and claiming its
      Message 2 of 26 , Jul 28, 2007
        Both sound like good options to me. The UK Govt are considering 'pay per mile' schemes but as you can imagine, all the motorists are seething and claiming its a stealth tax. If the money was put into PT then thats fab.
        Still campaigning for wheelchair accessible buses here in Bristol so disabled people can be car free with ease. We're managing ok for now but I'm not sure that using hospital transport is such a green option. One ambulance will be sent for me, child and hubby. That can't be good.
        If someone left me in charge I'd reduce roads to one lane and drivers would just have to wait while pedestrains, wheelchair users and cyclists had more room rather than the usual 3 foot pavement with thundering trucks inches from your elbow. And I'd make residential areas either car free or the right of way to pedestrians like some European cities have done.
        We had a scare this morning. Walked a mile down to Fishponds and went to cross a zebra crossing. Was 2 foot into it pushing daughter in her wheelchair when some arse crossed it, missing us by inches. The law says all cars must stop if someone is on a crossing. This dick didn't want too. Unfortuanetly for him he has to stop in heavy traffic about 20 yards away so hubby sprinted down and banged on his window. He's lucky I am not walking fast or I'd of put my walking stick through his window. Grrr

        S

        "Robert J. Matter" <rjmatter@...> wrote:
        Sahar wrote:

        > You got transcripts for these? I'd like to read them.

        No, unfortunately not.

        The gist of my "Depave Paradise: The High Cost of Free Parking" speech
        was to remove on-street parking from streets with existing bike lanes
        and convert the bike lane space to green space, i.e. curbed or fenced
        meridians with grass, trees, flowers, planters, shrubery, etc. The
        former parking lanes would be converted to cyclestrian space. This would
        provide a barrier to stop encroachment into cyclestrian space by cagers.
        And it would help make parking more scarce and therefore discourage
        driving on those streets while encouraging biking, walking,
        rollerblading, skate boarding, scootering, etc. I forget the exact
        percentage now but a surprisingly hight percentage of driving is just
        cagers circling around looking for a place to park. I borrowed a lot of
        facts and figures from Don Shoup's excellent urban planning textbook
        _The High Cost of Free Parking_.

        The gist of the "It's Only Fare: Free CTA and Make Cars Pay" speech was
        to implement a congestion charging system in Chicago similar to
        Singapore's and use the revenue to subsidize the CTA (Chicago Transit
        Authority), making it free and improving the security and service of the
        system. In Singapore cagers have a dashboard unit in their cars that
        displays a pre-paid monetary balance. As they pass under certain
        catwalks located throughout the city, their balances are decremented
        according to the time of day they are driving and also the area they are
        in. For instance driving into downtown on a Sunday morning at 5:00 a.m.
        might cost $0.40. Driving into downtown on a weekday morning between 8
        a.m. and 10 a.m. might cost $1.80. The revenues are used to fund their
        transit system. Cagers that are willing and able to pay the congestion
        charge have uncongested roads to drive on and more available parking.
        Those who are not willing or able to pay have safe, fast, convenient,
        cheap (or free, I forget), and secure transit.

        -Bob Matter






        The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life . . . the children; those who are in the twilight of life . . . the elderly; and those who are in the shadow of life . . . the sick . . . the needy . . . and the disabled.

        Hubert H. Humphrey

        ---------------------------------
        Yahoo! Mail is the world's favourite email. Don't settle for less, sign up for your freeaccount today.

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • PB
        Hello all, I am new to group. Appreciate the discusssions. I am not now car free because am in exurb with bad public transit, but financial and other factors
        Message 3 of 26 , Jul 29, 2007
          Hello all,

          I am new to group. Appreciate the discusssions.

          I am not now car free because am in exurb with bad public transit, but financial and other factors have gotten me very interested in the issues of urban design, land use, new urbanism, transit, car dependence, etc..

          I look forward to exchanging with you all.

          I am considering moving closer to downtown in this larger city, or moving to compact smaller town (would have bad PT though)

          Wondering if anyone has read great books on the topic ?

          I recently read DIVORCE YOUR CAR, and THE ECOLOGY OF THE AUTOMOBILE.

          Great reads.

          Cheers all

          PS I am not anti-car, i would just like much more balance in society for sake of social equity and environment and public health and community building/isolation etc...

          I agree car users don't understand just how subsidized and socialized roads and car infrastructure is.
        • Robert J. Matter
          I just wanted to let everyone know that my speech was very well received Saturday ( CAR SiCKO: A Prescription for Socialized Transportation ). I had a pretty
          Message 4 of 26 , Aug 1, 2007
            I just wanted to let everyone know that my speech was very well received
            Saturday ("CAR SiCKO: A Prescription for Socialized Transportation"). I
            had a pretty large audience, 40-50 people or so and afterwards lots of
            people came up to shake my hand and tell me they thought my ideas were
            right on. I even convinced the chairman of the Chicago grassroots
            transit group Citizens Taking Action to think outside the fare box and
            endorse the idea of free transit.

            -Bob Matter
          • Nualle Schallenberger
            Good on you, Bob! ... ____________________________________________________________________________________ Got a little couch potato? Check out fun summer
            Message 5 of 26 , Aug 1, 2007
              Good on you, Bob!

              --- "Robert J. Matter" <rjmatter@...> wrote:

              > I just wanted to let everyone know that my speech
              > was very well received [...]



              ____________________________________________________________________________________
              Got a little couch potato?
              Check out fun summer activities for kids.
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            • John A. Ardelli
              ... Especially with devices like THIS on the market: http://www.wike.ca/special.htm My first life partner Lisa and I LOVE the thing. :) John A. Ardelli
              Message 6 of 26 , Aug 21, 2007
                On Jul 27, 2007, at 4:05 AM, Sahar wrote:

                > Despite a year of car-freeness not one of my friends or family has
                > even considered it. Sigh. They all claim its impossible yet if I can
                > do it with 4 kids, one in a wheelchair and me disabled then anyone
                > can!

                Especially with devices like THIS on the market:

                http://www.wike.ca/special.htm

                My first life partner Lisa and I LOVE the thing. :)

                John A. Ardelli
                http://pedalingprince.blogspot.com
              • dubluth
                Before advocating for free fares, consider what assumptions you ask us to make. Assumption 1: The cost of fares keeps people in their cars. I can t speak for
                Message 7 of 26 , Aug 21, 2007
                  Before advocating for free fares, consider what assumptions you ask us
                  to make.

                  Assumption 1: The cost of fares keeps people in their cars.

                  I can't speak for other countries, but a person will spend a lot more
                  out of pocket to drive in US cities than to ride a city bus or
                  trolley. Both modes have a time cost. The value of time spent in
                  travel can easily exceed a person's money part of that expense. To
                  make alternatives to driving relatively cheaper, we either need to
                  increase the velocity of the other modes, reduce the distance between
                  destinations (density), or make drivers pay more to drive.

                  Reducing or eliminating fares won't increase bus or trolley velocity
                  and it won't reduce distances. It could have the opposite effects.
                  It would increase crowding on transit with people making more
                  discretionary trips. That would drive some commuters back into their
                  cars.

                  Assumption 2: We should use of tax money to relieve the burden of
                  fares because it wouldn't bring more benefit if used some other way.

                  That's also a doubtful assumption.

                  --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, Sahar <bobalinga@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Sounds like a good idea. I already travel free on the city buses as
                  a disabled person (although finding one thats wheelchair accessible is
                  like finding hen's teeth) and next year the Govt is making my bus pass
                  valid countrywide for all buses in the country.
                  > More poeple would travel on the bus if it were free. Its the
                  biggest complaint about Bristol buses as we have the most expensive
                  fares in the country (only one company operating so they have a
                  monopoly. Other cities have 3 or 4 companies)
                  >
                  > De Clarke <de@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > http://www.alternet.org/environment/57802/
                  >
                  > The time has come to stop making people pay to take public
                  > transit.
                  >
                  > Why do we have any barriers to using buses and urban trains?
                  > The threat of global warming is no longer in doubt. The hue and
                  > cry of the traffic-jammed driver grows louder every commute.
                  > And politicians are getting the message. San Francisco Mayor
                  > Gavin Newsom has ordered his staff to seriously examine the
                  > costs of charging people to ride public transit. And Michael
                  > Bloomberg, mayor of New York, recently voiced to a reporter his
                  > top dream: "I would have mass transit be given away for nothing
                  > and charge an awful lot for bringing an automobile into the
                  > city."
                  >
                  > [SNIP]
                  >
                • Sahar
                  Ah, but people see themselves hand over £7 to get into town. It has to be tugged out of their purse and in their mind added to the price of groceries. When
                  Message 8 of 26 , Aug 22, 2007
                    Ah, but people see themselves hand over £7 to get into town. It has to be tugged out of their purse and in their mind added to the price of groceries. When using a car, if there was a little counter that signalled the true cost of petrol/depreciation/pollution clean up/repairs etc as it was used then people would think, gosh, £3000 a year to run a car. I'd never pay that much on a bus (especially a free one)
                    You don't think about the cost while driving. Each incidence of putting in petrol is far enough apart to forget the pain. And just leaping in to go to the shop *apparently* costs nothing.

                    But I would agree that othermeasures are needed too. In London you have the congestion charge, huge charges for parking and extremely cheap buses. Traffic has gone down and bus ridership gone up so both measures together have made some impact. Of course, £8 a day toa rich person is nothing so they continue to drive. For someone like me its a tenth of the weekly income.
                    Buses in London are more frequent now and I found (admittedly this was a 2 day trip) didn't get stuck in traffic cos of bus only turnings, bus lanes and less cars and so was quick and easy. Here in Bristol the buses are stuck in endless traffic jams caused by cars. Less cars would equal faster bus journeys.
                    Time is a funny thing too. Car journeys are percieved as faster but often are not, especially in the city. Bikes are certainly faster in the city and buses are where there are dedicated lanes so they can by-pass the jams. In fact, even on longer trips, PT can be faster.
                    For example. If I hired a car and drove to London I'd be looking at 2 anda half to 3 hours to get to Paddington in the west. The train does it in one and a half hours (although the ticket price is very painful and more than hiring a car for the day!). In 2 weeks I'm going camping in the Lake District. Train time is 4 and a half hours (its 300 miles). Last year I drove and it took me 7 hoursas the M6 is a giant car parknearly all the time now. I'm going by train.

                    People need educating about the true cost of cars in money and time.

                    But I think the main barrier is always going to be convenience. The car is sat outside while the bus stop is down the road. It rains at bus stops. Inside your car you have your own space, on the bus there are leaky headphones, coughing people, smelly poeple etc etc
                    So using a car needs to be made horribly inconvenient.

                    S
                    dubluth <dubluth@...> wrote:
                    Before advocating for free fares, consider what assumptions you ask us
                    to make.

                    Assumption 1: The cost of fares keeps people in their cars.

                    I can't speak for other countries, but a person will spend a lot more
                    out of pocket to drive in US cities than to ride a city bus or
                    trolley. Both modes have a time cost. The value of time spent in
                    travel can easily exceed a person's money part of that expense. To
                    make alternatives to driving relatively cheaper, we either need to
                    increase the velocity of the other modes, reduce the distance between
                    destinations (density), or make drivers pay more to drive.

                    Reducing or eliminating fares won't increase bus or trolley velocity
                    and it won't reduce distances. It could have the opposite effects.
                    It would increase crowding on transit with people making more
                    discretionary trips. That would drive some commuters back into their
                    cars.

                    Assumption 2: We should use of tax money to relieve the burden of
                    fares because it wouldn't bring more benefit if used some other way.

                    That's also a doubtful assumption.



                    "Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise."
                    Luke 3:11

                    ---------------------------------
                    Yahoo! Answers - Get better answers from someone who knows. Tryit now.

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • dubluth
                    Good points. 1- People drive for a) convenience b) the private, controlled environment of their vehicle c) in many places, speed I d also note that many
                    Message 9 of 26 , Aug 23, 2007
                      Good points.
                      1- People drive for
                      a) convenience
                      b) the private, controlled environment of their vehicle
                      c) in many places, speed

                      I'd also note that many haven't explored any alternative and fewer
                      have given any a serious chance.

                      2- Perceived costs differ from actual costs.

                      A car also has sunk costs. Whether the owner drives, walks or rides
                      transit she has the same car loan payments and insurance payments.
                      The hypothetical meter on the dash would only show the variable costs
                      of fuel use and car wear associated with driving.

                      It goes without saying that drivers don't pay all the costs of
                      driving. I focused on their out of pocket expenses because only those
                      generally effect their decisions to own and use their car.

                      I envy your train service.

                      Bill
                    • Jim Gagnepain
                      There are other reasons that people drive: 1. It s easier to haul things. 2. Transit sometimes stops service after peak hours. 3. Weather can go both ways - In
                      Message 10 of 26 , Aug 26, 2007
                        There are other reasons that people drive:
                        1. It's easier to haul things.
                        2. Transit sometimes stops service after peak hours.
                        3. Weather can go both ways - In inclement weather, some would rather
                        leave the driving to a professional. Others would rather not stand
                        out in the cold or heat waiting.

                        I guess these could go under the broad term - "convenience".

                        I think very few drivers look at the "big picture". I believe that
                        if the important points continue to be emphasized over and over, and
                        people are given options, many will choose transit. Of course, the
                        main issue here, is that Governments and voters must stop subsidizing
                        road expansions, as is the norm here in the US.


                        --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, "dubluth" <dubluth@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Good points.
                        > 1- People drive for
                        > a) convenience
                        > b) the private, controlled environment of their vehicle
                        > c) in many places, speed
                        >
                        > I'd also note that many haven't explored any alternative and fewer
                        > have given any a serious chance.
                        >
                        > 2- Perceived costs differ from actual costs.
                        >
                        > A car also has sunk costs. Whether the owner drives, walks or rides
                        > transit she has the same car loan payments and insurance payments.
                        > The hypothetical meter on the dash would only show the variable
                        costs
                        > of fuel use and car wear associated with driving.
                        >
                        > It goes without saying that drivers don't pay all the costs of
                        > driving. I focused on their out of pocket expenses because only
                        those
                        > generally effect their decisions to own and use their car.
                        >
                        > I envy your train service.
                        >
                        > Bill
                        >
                      • dubluth
                        Much easier to haul things and provides a place to store things, meaning you don t have to carry all your traveling stuff in with you at any stops along the
                        Message 11 of 26 , Aug 27, 2007
                          Much easier to haul things and provides a place to store things,
                          meaning you don't have to carry all your traveling stuff in with you
                          at any stops along the way. Not using a car means a change in habits.

                          I didn't even think to mention the non-transportation reasons -- the
                          reasons advertisers try to give potential customers. Self-image and a
                          need to be respected come to mind.

                          Many people also think they need the instant mobility they believe
                          only a personal car can provide. Potential disasters make it seem all
                          the more necessary. Of course, if everyone simultaneously gets the
                          idea to drive out of town to avoid a disaster, they sit in one big jam.

                          --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Gagnepain"
                          <oil_free_and_happy@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > There are other reasons that people drive:
                          > 1. It's easier to haul things.
                          > 2. Transit sometimes stops service after peak hours.
                          > 3. Weather can go both ways - In inclement weather, some would rather
                          > leave the driving to a professional. Others would rather not stand
                          > out in the cold or heat waiting.
                          >
                          > I guess these could go under the broad term - "convenience".
                          >
                          > I think very few drivers look at the "big picture". I believe that
                          > if the important points continue to be emphasized over and over, and
                          > people are given options, many will choose transit. Of course, the
                          > main issue here, is that Governments and voters must stop subsidizing
                          > road expansions, as is the norm here in the US.
                          >
                          >
                        • Sahar
                          Sounds like only re-education from childhood might change things or cars becoming so expensive and in conveneint. Although if they became hugely expensive only
                          Message 12 of 26 , Aug 27, 2007
                            Sounds like only re-education from childhood might change things or cars becoming so expensive and in conveneint. Although if they became hugely expensive only the rich would drive and less cars means more convenience...for the rich.
                            I saw the stuff about congestion charging in NYC that the mayor is trying to bring in. The comments made me laugh. One guy said it wouldmake the city resemble Europe and he wouldn't be able to cope! But most treated it like they were going to have a kidney removed and complained mightily.
                            Hopefully he'll go ahead. Ken did in London despite all the moaning and complaing.

                            S

                            dubluth <dubluth@...> wrote:
                            Much easier to haul things and provides a place to store things,
                            meaning you don't have to carry all your traveling stuff in with you
                            at any stops along the way. Not using a car means a change in habits.

                            I didn't even think to mention the non-transportation reasons -- the
                            reasons advertisers try to give potential customers. Self-image and a
                            need to be respected come to mind.

                            Many people also think they need the instant mobility they believe
                            only a personal car can provide. Potential disasters make it seem all
                            the more necessary. Of course, if everyone simultaneously gets the
                            idea to drive out of town to avoid a disaster, they sit in one big jam.





                            "Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise."
                            Luke 3:11

                            ---------------------------------
                            For ideas on reducing your carbon footprint visit Yahoo! For Good this month.

                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Jym Dyer
                            ... =v= I think the latter is more likely than the former. Most of the people I know who are carfree are self-educated on this point, or live where the public
                            Message 13 of 26 , Aug 27, 2007
                              > Sounds like only re-education from childhood might change
                              > things or cars becoming so expensive and inconveneint.

                              =v= I think the latter is more likely than the former. Most
                              of the people I know who are carfree are self-educated on this
                              point, or live where the public transit is good (a rarity in
                              the United States).

                              > I saw the stuff about congestion charging in NYC that the
                              > mayor is trying to bring in. The comments made me laugh.

                              =v= Which comments? In general, any collection of comments
                              is representative of their selector/editor, and not of the
                              population itself. Usually the selection is made to support
                              a predefined narrative: "There's this side, but then there's
                              this other side, so we'll present both, 50/50." Comments are
                              entertaining, but a well-designed opinion poll would be more
                              useful. :-|

                              =v= Unfortunately, in keeping with its mandate of promoting
                              as much oil use as possible, the Shrub Administration's Dept.
                              of Transportation chose not devote any funding to congestion
                              pricing in NYC. Instead, the San Francisco Bay Area got a
                              bunch of it, devoted to such things as adding more car parking
                              to bus stations and attempting to combine transit passes with
                              car toll booth passes (so as to compile data that can only
                              be used to attempt to justify yet more parking for at transit
                              stations).
                              <_Jym_>
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