417Re: [New Mobility/WorldTransport Forum] Info on Free Public Transport or Tran...
- Nov 23, 2004Trouble is it is very difficult to figure out how many riders are real switchers from cars, how many would have walked (my case
when I rode in Seattle 10 years ago), and how many are real new trips generated. Not that I would demand 3 digit accuracy,
but this is an issue if the busses could be better deployed elsewhere..Do we have any figures from any of these systems in any countries
that give an answer?
>>> Tramsol@... 11/23/2004 6:02:21 AM >>>Many US Cities have RFZ (Ride Free Zones) in the CBD (Central Business
District) and you pay the fare as you leave the bus after it has left the RFZ. THis
is a useful tool for keeping MVR (Minimum Vehicle Requirement) down, as the
biggest burden on any cross-city route is where the bus is delayed by drivers
collecting or even just processing fares, on the vehicle and other vehicles in
the traffic queue. By simply allowing walk-on travel during the business day,
there is considerably less delay to and caused by buses picking up
passengers, and the cost of this is calculated to be greater than that for collecting
the fares .
That essentially is the guiding principle on providing free public transport.
The Belgian town with the free buses, is hasselt (www.hasselt.be), which put
in the free bus service because it was cheaper than building a third ring
road, and it allowed them to rip up the tarmac on the original Green Boulevard,
constructed in the mid 1800's and eroded from a tree lined circular carriage
drive to a 4-lane dual carriageway with a few scraggy remnants of the original
trees. The conversion of the city into a pleasant place with reborn public
squares, and retail turnover 4 times higher per sq m than in mjor shopping
districts in Brussels has attracted business to the town, so that the local taxation
has, in real terms gone down, whilst still paying for the free bus service,
and reducing the city debt, as the city was no longer burdened by the draining
and downward spiral of building ever more roads for the relentless supply of
cars to fill them. We keep trying to tell this to cities like Glasgow where
roads are on a par with New York in their dominance on the public doimain, and
lack of maintenance - yet they still think a 6-10 lane motorway carving across
the south side, with predicted cost of £1bn will be an economic benefit....I
wish I had their debt manager's skills in convincing my bank manager I need
money to spend.
It did take courage - as driven by Steve Steavert the then mayor, who went on
to become the transport minister for Flanders, and the funding from the
Flanders Regional sustainability initiative, and equally one should remember that
80% of the operating costs for all bus services in Flanders is paid by the
A book on the Green Boulevard Project was published, describing the project,
and Jan Vanderputte the city transport manager (IIRC) has done a number of
presentations on this.
Fundamentally like all Green and 'free' transport there is a prime green
policy document, one which promises to pay the value printed on it, and folds
neatly to go into your wallet.
Transportation Management Solutions
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