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Info on Free Public Transport or Transit

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  • EcoPlan, Paris
    Again friends, over at the New Mobility Cafe (http://newmobility.org/challenge) a great Sustran inspired series of expert exchanges, this time on Free Public
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 23, 2004

      Again friends, over at the New Mobility Cafe (http://newmobility.org/challenge) a great Sustran inspired series of expert exchanges, this time on Free Public Transport or Transit.  I attach two of the present lot of about ten brief pieces to give you a flavor. Use your peripheral vision. Put your curiosity to work. It’s one of your best friends.  Eric Britton




      On Behalf Of etts@...
      Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 2004 10:41 AM
      To: sustran-discuss@...


      I have heard that zero fares have been tried in parts of Flanders (north
      Belgium). There was certainly a political push to do this, but I'm not sure if
      it ever got off the ground. The public sector transport operator is De Lijn, and
      they are the monopoly service provider.

      Their website is www.delijn.be Although this is in Flemish, if you can read
      Dutch or German you should be able to get by. In any case, there is a Contact
      section which should allow you to get to someone who can help you. English is
      reasonably well known there. If you have any difficulty making contact with
      them, write me at etts@i... and I will talk to some people I know there.

      You might also try www.eltis.org which has information on public transport
      (mostly or all in
      Europe). There is a case study or best practice section, and
      perhaps you will find something useful there.

      Rome tried it for a few years (I think in the 1970's). The ridership increased a
      little, but I heard that was due to people making short trips they previously
      would have walked, and the derelicts using it to pass the time.

      To my opinion, free travel is not a good way to go. People are generally willing
      to pay something for their travel, and few people expect to get anything for
      nothing. What people object to is paying for rubbish or for unpleasant

      I don't know the context in
      Auckland, but I reckon it's not rubbish. If it's
      reasonably OK, then why give it away for free? If people are unhappy with the
      quality, spend the money on getting it right, and charge people for it. If
      people feel it's not frequent enough or going to enough places, spend the money
      on more buses and a redesign of the network. And charge them for it. Or bring in
      demand responsive transport, and charge them only the regular bus fare for it.
      If the bus services are bogged down in congestion, build a busway or take some
      street space at the expense of the car. That might take political courage, but
      it will have real results. If there are socially vulnerable groups, target both
      subsidised tickets and suitable services for their needs, but charge realistic
      fares to the majority of the population who can well afford it.

      Whatever you decide, I wish you good luck on this one. But you might ask
      yourself why all around the world there are very few examples anyone can give

      With best wishes,

      Brendan Finn.


      Original Message:
      From: roland@...
      Tue, 23 Nov 2004 09:47:36 +1300 (NZDT)
      To: sustran-discuss@...
      Subject: [sustran] Info on Free Public Transport or Transit


      Recently a proposal has been floated in New Zealand's major city Auckland
      for a zero fare policy coupled with a massive expansion of the bus
      service. I am aware of the range of factors besides fares which
      influence use of bus services.

      I would be interested in knowing of any examples or evaluations of free
      public transport, as the only specific example I have been able to find
      is in inner-city Perth in Western Australia.

      Any suggestions or pointers much appreciated

      Thanks in advance for any help

      Roland Sapsford
      Green Party in the Parliament of Aotearoa New Zealand    



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