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RE: WorldTransport Forum Public transport should be free

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  • Romney at Travel Light
    Public transport in London is largely free for under 16s (trams and buses), and entirely free for the over 60s subject starting after 9:30 on weekday mornings.
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 19 9:44 AM
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      Public transport in London is largely free for under 16s (trams and buses), and entirely free for the over 60s subject starting after 9:30 on weekday mornings. Is ours the only capital city with such a scheme?
       
      Romney Tansley
      -----Original Message-----
      From: WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com [mailto:WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Eric Britton
      Sent: Saturday, August 19, 2006 10:57
      To: WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: WorldTransport Forum Public transport should be free

      Dear Colleagues

       

      In our on-going work to provide coverage of city wide free transport services in the context of the Wikipedia entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_transport#Free_systems), we have with the help of these groups identified thus far the following six cities as having started or currently operating free transit city-wide.  We cannot too much stress the paradigm-changing potential of this approach, if indeed the goal is to reduce traffic, congestion, pollution, and the long list goes on.

       

      Can you help us complete this inventory?

      6.3.1.1 City Wide Free Transport

      ·         Chapel Hill, North Carolina — free bus services

      ·         Compiegne, France; free bus services since 1990s

      ·         Hasselt, Belgium — free bus services - which made (planned in the 1990s) huge investments in streets and parking facilities unnecessary. Influence on property values should be visible by now and perhaps known in public bus company circles

      ·         Mariehamn, Finland has free bus services in the town

      ·         Vitré, France - all city bus lines have been free since spring 2001.

      ·         Türi, Estonia - free bus service

       

      For further background on this, we can point you to the Free Public Transport section in process of the New Mobility Advisory/Briefs (http://www.newmobilitybriefs.org) which you will find in the Briefs Work Pad entry,. The entry also contains several (partial) working bibliographies on this subject. Thanks too if you can help us complete.

       

       

      Eric Britton

       

      Strategic PS.

       

      Dan Sullivan reminds us of the oft-cited claims that barrier free pubic transport for all would lead to abuses, joy riding, teen partying, and homeless people hanging out among them. When we were working on the first brainstorming piece for the Ministry of the Environment here in Paris for what eventually became the excellent country-wide ‘Carte Orange’ unified monthly fare card in the middle seventies, these arguments were also advanced at the time as reasons not to open up the system in this way.  But once the cards went into service with unlimited travel as art of the package, the feared abuses did not occur in any significant amount -- though there is a first period of what can only be described as public joy and satisfaction as people of all ages start to play with and use the system. And that is quite as it should be and can be easily planned for in advance.

       

      There is one important wrinkle in the “free” vector to which we gave a lot of thought at the time and which is just as relevant today as it was back then.  And that concerns the underlying attitude of the public to what we want them to consider “their transport system”. For that a certain indication of proprietorship is called for, I think. It is collective proprietorship as we see in cases like public gardens and other public spaces (the vehicle in this context suddenly becomes a public space). For this, we suggest that what the people in that place (and yes, the visitors too) need to have their own individual ‘keys to the system’. Which in this day and age probably translates to a readable card/pass, which has the double advantage of also permitting feedback on vehicle use. 

       

      Whether or not you charge for this or not, is a subject of study in each place. But it is for sure that if the user charges become onerous – and even more considered a source of revenue to the city or the transit agency (Get Thee behind me Satan) – then the entire problematique begins to shift.

       

      If it’s “your system” you not only use it, but you also tend to take better care of it than if your perception that it is one more example of Big Brother who doesn’t give a damn about you as a human being. In France, for example, damage to vehicle seats and interiors went down after the system opened up via the Orange Cards.

       

      There is a huge amount of area that can be played with and put to work under this transforming concept.

       

    • Tramsol@aol.com
      [Note: This topic is being discussed in New Mobility Cafe. Thanks for posting there to NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com.] Romney The Emerald Isle is perhaps
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 19 12:05 PM
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        Romney

        The Emerald Isle is perhaps more enlightened, and this has spread North of the Border, all pensioners can get free travel on all public transport, as a result you can be sure be sure (sorry) to find a suitable 'presence' of silver security on most buses and trains through the day, so that a nervous traveller is rarely alone and uncertain about their travel arrangements, and any misbehaviour will get a withering look which says "Your mother will hear about this"

        The cost of this population exercise may well be repaid in reduced vandal damage and other antisocial activity - rather like the workl of PPS and their ilk on public space - design it well, manage it well and then there is no need for vandals to 'humanise' the brutal and agressive starkness of concrete blockhouse architecture.

        Dave Holladay    
      • Lloyd Wright
        Dear Eric, Very useful list. In addition, I can think of a few other free systems: Orlando Lymmo BRT system (operators in the central city area) Miami People
        Message 3 of 4 , Aug 19 5:12 PM
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          Dear Eric,

          Very useful list. In addition, I can think of a few other free systems:

          Orlando Lymmo BRT system (operators in the central city area)
          Miami People Mover
          Denver 16th Street Transit Mall

          Best regards,

          Lloyd

          ------ Original Message ------
          Received: Sat, 19 Aug 2006 06:13:10 AM EDT
          From: "Eric Britton" <eric.britton@...>
          To: <WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com>
          Subject: WorldTransport Forum Public transport should be free

          Dear Colleagues



          In our on-going work to provide coverage of city wide free transport services
          in
          the context of the Wikipedia entry
          (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_transport#Free_systems), we have with
          the
          help of these groups identified thus far the following six cities as having
          started or currently operating free transit city-wide. We cannot too much
          stress the paradigm-changing potential of this approach, if indeed the goal
          is
          to reduce traffic, congestion, pollution, and the long list goes on.



          Can you help us complete this inventory?


          6.3.1.1 City Wide Free Transport


          * <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chapel_Hill%2C_North_Carolina>
          Chapel
          Hill, North Carolina — free bus services

          *
          <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Compiegne%2C_France&action=edit>
          Compiegne, France; free bus services since 1990s

          * <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasselt> Hasselt,
          <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgium> Belgium — free bus services - which
          made
          (planned in the 1990s) huge investments in streets and parking facilities
          unnecessary. Influence on property values should be visible by now and
          perhaps
          known in public bus company circles

          * <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariehamn> Mariehamn,
          <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finland> Finland has free bus services in the
          town

          * <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitr%C3%A9> Vitré,
          <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France> France - all city bus lines have been
          free
          since spring 2001.

          * <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%C3%BCri> Türi,
          <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estonia> Estonia - free bus service



          For further background on this, we can point you to the Free Public Transport
          section in process of the New Mobility Advisory/Briefs
          (http://www.newmobilitybriefs.org <http://www.newmobilitybriefs.org/> ) which
          you will find in the Briefs Work Pad entry,. The entry also contains several
          (partial) working bibliographies on this subject. Thanks too if you can help
          us
          complete.





          Eric Britton
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