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AW: WorldTransport Forum Public transport should be free

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  • Glotz-Richter, Michael (SBUV)
    the City Bus in the German town Lübben (some 80 km south of Berlin) is free - folowing hte Hasselt experience.. Best regards Michael Glotz-Richter ... Von:
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 31, 2006
      the City Bus in the German town Lübben (some 80 km south of Berlin) is free - folowing hte Hasselt experience..
      Best regards
      Michael Glotz-Richter
      -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
      Von: WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com [mailto:WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com]Im Auftrag von Eric Britton
      Gesendet: Samstag, 19. August 2006 11:57
      An: WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com
      Betreff: 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.wikipedi a.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? 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.newmobil itybriefs. 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.


    • Pedro Abrantes
      On Behalf Of Pedro Abrantes Dear Colleagues, We would like to draw your attention to the ninth NECTAR conference taking place on 9/12 May 2007 in Porto. The
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 11, 2006
        On Behalf Of Pedro Abrantes

        Dear Colleagues,

        We would like to draw your attention to the ninth NECTAR conference
        taking place on 9/12 May 2007 in Porto. The conference is organized by
        the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP) and expects
        to gather researchers and academics from several different countries
        covering a wide range of topics. Further details on the event are
        available on the website www.nectarporto.com.

        The NECTAR Conference is the major international event of the Network on
        European Communication and Transportation Activities Research and
        includes the following themes:

        * Transportation chains

        * Transport behaviour

        * Transitions and innovations in transport

        * Transport and land use

        * Freight transport

        * Technology and transport

        * Environmental and safety aspects of transport

        * Networks in energy markets

        * Transport policy and regulation

        * Transport and equity

        * Labour markets and transport

        * Network dynamics

        Information for authors is available from the website:

        We look forward to hosting you in Porto for an interesting and rewarding

        Best regards,

        Pedro Abrantes


        NECTAR Conference 2007

        Organizing Committee

        Centro de Investigação do Território, Transportes e Ambiente

        Departamento de Engenharia Civil

        Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto

        Rua Dr Roberto Frias s/n

        4200-465 Porto Portugal



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