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Info on Free Public Transport or Transit

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  • On Behalf Of Alan P Howes
    ... Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 2004 9:50 PM I am sure this (free fares) is NOT the best way to get people out of their cars. I could go on at length ... but
    Message 1 of 11 , Nov 24, 2004
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      -----Original Message----- On Behalf Of Alan P Howes
      Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 2004 9:50 PM

      I am sure this (free fares) is NOT the best way to get people out of
      their cars. I could go on at length ... but no time I'm afraid. But in
      answer to your specific question - I definitely remember that Rome tried
      such an experiment some time ago - at least 20 years back - resulting in
      full buses, but no reduction in cars.

      And here in Scotland, all senior citizens (60+) get free local bus
      travel. This has resulted in some modal shift car to bus - my firm did
      some monitoring of the effects of the scheme. I could dig around in the
      results if you want - but may need a few days.

      To amplify a little on the last point below -

      This (Scottish) initiative was for "social inclusion" purposes rather
      than transport policy. As such it has been very popular, and has
      certainly filled buses. But effects on car use (particularly in
      peaks) have been small.

      I agree wholeheartedly with those, e.g. Brendan Finn, who argue
      against free fares as a way of achieving a "green" transport policy.
      Better to get car users to pay more gas tax, and spend the proceeds on
      better transit.

      Free bread before free buses!

      Alan


      PS. There's certainly been a good response to Roland's enquiry. I just
      hope that he is reading it in Sustran-discuss, because like Robert
      Campbell I could not get an email to him - even when following up
      (several times) with a blank email as instructed. Maybe something to do
      with the definition of "blank email" - my work system automatically adds
      a disclaimer to everything. So if you are reading this Roland, take a
      tip and look at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Transit-Prof/ for even
      more coverage. And next time you appeal for information, disable that
      spam filter!

      Alan P Howes, Perthshire, Scotland
      alan@...
      http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/alanhowes/ [Needs Updating!]
    • Wetzel Dave
      I was asked to give more information re cashless bus and free fares. I also worry about free fares encouraging longer commutes and feeding higher land
      Message 2 of 11 , Nov 24, 2004
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        I was asked to give more information re cashless bus and free fares.

        I also worry about "free fares" encouraging longer commutes and feeding
        higher land profits to landowners in more "remote" areas.
        However, free fares could work in encouraging greater use of public
        transport in Cities, speed up entry exit to stations and buses, allow
        stations to open additional "closed" entrances and reduce the fare
        collecting bureaucracy and costly infrastructure. (Ticket machines,
        smartcards, paper/cardboard/plastic tickets and passes, transport planners
        on fare levels and ticketing type, fare collection/checking staff, cash
        handling, revenue protection and legal staff to pursue fare evaders, court
        time etc. etc.)
        Apart from the unhappiness and career disruption that a criminal record can
        create for the offenders and their families.

        Please do not cite the Rome experiment. This was short-term and changes in
        car ownership and use do not happen over-night, they often come with a
        change in travel arising from a change in life e.g. leaving school, changing
        job, getting married/divorced, leaving parents home, moving house, retiring
        etc. etc.

        A modern experiment over a number of years would give us useful data.


        Dave
        Dave Wetzel; Vice-Chair; Transport for London.


        -----Original Message-----
        From: On Behalf Of Alan P Howes [mailto:On Behalf Of Alan P Howes]
        Sent: 24 November 2004 08:47
        To: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [NewMobilityCafe] Info on Free Public Transport or Transit



        -----Original Message----- On Behalf Of Alan P Howes
        Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 2004 9:50 PM

        I am sure this (free fares) is NOT the best way to get people out of
        their cars. I could go on at length ... but no time I'm afraid. But in
        answer to your specific question - I definitely remember that Rome tried
        such an experiment some time ago - at least 20 years back - resulting in
        full buses, but no reduction in cars.

        And here in Scotland, all senior citizens (60+) get free local bus
        travel. This has resulted in some modal shift car to bus - my firm did
        some monitoring of the effects of the scheme. I could dig around in the
        results if you want - but may need a few days.

        To amplify a little on the last point below -

        This (Scottish) initiative was for "social inclusion" purposes rather
        than transport policy. As such it has been very popular, and has
        certainly filled buses. But effects on car use (particularly in
        peaks) have been small.

        I agree wholeheartedly with those, e.g. Brendan Finn, who argue
        against free fares as a way of achieving a "green" transport policy.
        Better to get car users to pay more gas tax, and spend the proceeds on
        better transit.

        Free bread before free buses!

        Alan


        PS. There's certainly been a good response to Roland's enquiry. I just
        hope that he is reading it in Sustran-discuss, because like Robert
        Campbell I could not get an email to him - even when following up
        (several times) with a blank email as instructed. Maybe something to do
        with the definition of "blank email" - my work system automatically adds
        a disclaimer to everything. So if you are reading this Roland, take a
        tip and look at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Transit-Prof/
        <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Transit-Prof/> for even
        more coverage. And next time you appeal for information, disable that
        spam filter!

        Alan P Howes, Perthshire, Scotland
        alan@...
        http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/alanhowes/
        <http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/alanhowes/> [Needs Updating!]
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