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Why Free Public Transport is a BAD idea? - Comments

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  • eric britton
    New comment on your post Why Free Public Transport is a bad idea? Author : Anzir Boodoo (IP: , E-mail : ab@transcience.co.uk
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 9, 2010
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      New comment on your post "Why Free Public Transport is a bad idea?"
      Author : Anzir Boodoo (IP: ,
      E-mail : ab@...


      I think you are forgetting a couple of other major reasons...

      5. Free public transport creates modal shift from walking (and possibly
      cycling). For example, the free city centre bus in Leeds (UK) has mostly
      replaced trips on foot, not trips by taxi from the railway station (as
      intended) or even short hop trips by bus. Free public transport can thus be
      a loser on public health grounds (people should be walking and cycling
      more), and CO2 emissions (which are higher by bus than on foot)

      6. Free public transport may encourage people to travel more, since the only
      cost is their time. This will also increase individuals' level of emissions,
      not to mention pollution from diesel buses (as they will stop more and we
      will need more of them)

      7. Free public transport may encourage people to use their city centres more
      than local suburban centres (I don't have any evidence for this!), or large
      out of town hypermarkets instead of their local suburban centres or local

      8. Free public transport is unfair on the "polluter pays principle". All
      transport produces CO2 emissions, from breathing when you walk or cycle, to
      the fuel use of motorised transport. Are we allowing people to burn fuel and
      not pay for the damage this causes?

      9. It's well known anecdotally (from observation, if not from studies) that
      people value things they pay for, and not necessarily things they get for
      free (see "the tragedy of the commons"). What about respect for drivers,
      vehicles and infrastructure?

      Before you ask, I'm all for cheaper public transport, and believe we should
      be subsudising it to an extent, but I don't think making it free is the
      answer. I know the mayors and officials of towns like Hasselt in Belgium
      (where buses are free) would disagree...

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