Free and Accessible Transit Now

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epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..video 1hr 13min

Free Public Transit in Seattle and Beyond

Forum on "Free Public Transit in Seattle and Beyond" recorded May 21, 2018 at University Book Store in Seattle, WA.

lagatta4

Those powers, especially for "agents" with limited training, are terrifying. That money could have provided fare cards for vulnerable people.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

lagatta

..that point is made in the seattle discusion. as well homeless folk have had victories and form part of the fight for free transit. lots of good things going on there.

lagatta4

I'll definitely listen to that. Not enough time now.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Free transport in Luxembourg

Free public transportation for children younger than 12

In Luxembourg, each child younger than 12 years of age may use the public transport for free, without any ticket. They may therefore travel by train or by bus without paying on the whole territory. Nevertheless, please note that children aged under 4 years must be accompanied by a person over 12 years to travel on the network.

Free shuttles between school and home

High school and secondary system students who are at the beginning of their school year can also benefit from free transport between their institution of instruction and their home (or their border point).

Martin N.

Free transit, free healthcare, free higher education, free housing! No responsibility for anything. Make the rich pay for it all.

How did removing bridge tolls work out for BC? A $1.5 bn spending black hole that 'the rich' won't be filling.

BC Hydro is adding a $.25 /month surcharge to build a 'fund' that will cover up to $600 per annum for 'vulnerable' customers who can't afford Hydro. It will raise $5.3 million per annum, cost $900k to administer and $600k to implement.

This scam is simply another tax grab that covers Hydro's bad debts by forcing the rest of the client base to pick up the tab. It does nothing for the 'vulnerable' except stressing them out fighting with some highly paid bureaucrat for coverage.

If the vulnerable were paid an increase to cover Hydro rate hike, they could pay for their own. More scams and bullshit from this government. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Free public transport will be available nationwide in Estonia

Starting on 1 July 2018, Estonia’s entire public transport network will be free, meaning citizens can travel from one end of the country to the other with no charge.

This will be implemented across the whole country, excluding the capital, Tallinn, where the city’s buses, trams, trolley buses and trains are free for the residents only – a scheme deployed in 2013.

It is believed that the economic benefits, including increased business productivity, better air quality, less pollution, reduced congestion, health improvements and improved fuel efficiency, will outweigh the loss of earnings....

iyraste1313

Thanks for this re Estonia...meanwhile here in BC, the mass transit bus service in the Interior has been decimated dropping major towns, cutting back service to one a day...forcing more people to waste their lives hitchhiking back and forth......

Martin N.

You refer to Greyhound cutting back service to less profitable locations in order to concentrate resources on more profitable areas of business. Now that many interior highways are wider and safer, it is time for BC to institute articulated buses under a government entity mandated to improve inter- city transit. Increasing personal vehicle costs, among other other mitigation strategies will push ridership and acceptance.

Pondering

Martin N. wrote:

Free transit, free healthcare, free higher education, free housing! No responsibility for anything. Make the rich pay for it all.

How did removing bridge tolls work out for BC? A $1.5 bn spending black hole that 'the rich' won't be filling.

BC Hydro is adding a $.25 /month surcharge to build a 'fund' that will cover up to $600 per annum for 'vulnerable' customers who can't afford Hydro. It will raise $5.3 million per annum, cost $900k to administer and $600k to implement.

This scam is simply another tax grab that covers Hydro's bad debts by forcing the rest of the client base to pick up the tab. It does nothing for the 'vulnerable' except stressing them out fighting with some highly paid bureaucrat for coverage.

If the vulnerable were paid an increase to cover Hydro rate hike, they could pay for their own. More scams and bullshit from this government. 

"Free" is a misnomer and the rich do not pay for it all. Medicare provides better outcomes for less money than private health care systems. Pharmacare saves the people of countries billions of dollars. Our road systems are not "free". Collectively people agreed that it was cheaper and more practical to pay for roads collectively rather than through tolls on roads built by locals. 

Public transport within dense communities makes sense because a city can't run without it. If everyone got cars it would be far more expensive. From infrastructure to public health it would cost us much more collectively. Strong mass transit attracts business. 

When mass transit is "free" fewer people buy cars and those who own them use them less. Increased ridership improves the system shortening wait times and adding more express buses increasing the popularity. It even improves life for people using cars as it reduces road traffic and congestion (and associated pollution). In other words, mass transit is a public good just like roadways and education. They are best paid for collectively. 

I do have a pet peeve. Where I live there is so little parking it is difficult to receive visitors. There isn't a logical place for them to park to switch to public transport except a metro station an hour a way by public transport to my place. So they would have to pay parking, then pay transit. By the time they pay all that plus double or triple their transit time it just isn't worth it. It's cheaper to just come by car and pay downtown parking fees or just not come at all. 

A start to changing that is free public transit. That would change the financial calculation and reduce travel time as increased usage validates improved services. 

The decision to pay for things collectively versus individually shouldn't be ideological it should be pragmatic. As a society we need dramatically improved public transit to reduce pollution with its associated costs and reduce the need to expand infrastructure in the form of more roads and expanded parking. The most cost effective means of achieving  those collective goals is through a collective solution. Free public transit. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

There’s More Than One Way to Strike the Boss

quote:

This Ride’s on the Company

At issue in Okayama was job security. Increased competition from a rival line had placed the drivers for the Ryobi company, in the southern part of Japan’s Honshu island, in a more precarious position. When management refused to grant greater guarantees of stability for employees, the drivers declared their fare action. Shortly thereafter, they began running routes with blankets draped over the collection machines at the front of their buses.

Beyond the action in Okayama, there is a rich history of fare strikes in municipal transit systems, although these are typically started by riders. That said, several driver-led fare strikes took place in Australia in the summer of 2017 — first in Sydney, where drivers declared “free fare day” in response to government privatization plans, and then in Brisbane, where drivers pushed for safer buses and better wages. In the US, streetcar workers in Cleveland threatened to use the tactic as far back as 1944.

Drivers have used the refusal of fares both as a prelude to striking and in situations where striking was legally prohibited. Crucially, the tactic has served as a means of rallying support from the public, while also inhibiting the system’s ability to function. While employers invariably trumpet the inconvenience of a transit strike to riders in order to turn public sentiment against strikes — painting dark pictures of kids put in danger because they can’t get to school and elderly patients who can’t make doctors appointments — riders in places such as Sydney have noted with pleasure the welcome surprise of saving transit money during the fare strike.

Some fare strikes launched by riders have further extended this feeling of solidarity. On January 27, 2016 a community coalition in Grand Rapids, Michigan led by United Students Against Sweatshops organized groups of passengers to board buses and refuse to pay their fares in support of transit workers fighting to preserve pensions and combat fare hikes. A leaflet distributed by the riders and shared with drivers argued that the agency’s “recent actions toward you and your riders is a form of economic violence that I won’t condone.”

“Because it is illegal for union bus drivers like you to go on strike in Michigan,” the passengers wrote, “I am doing the closest thing that I can as a rider by engaging in this one-day fare strike.”

cco

Greyhound Canada cancelling all BC routes but one, no more prairie services
From here on out the only public ground transportation across Western Canada will be Via Rail, if it passes through your town.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Would a government-owned service be able to break even on some of those trips?  Part of Greyhound's challenge was that they only seemed to have those same huge buses for every route.  Could one driver, plus a smaller bus of 12, travel 300km economically?

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Well if the US Greyhound corporate headquarter's idea of reasonably profitable is the same as US OmniTrax, nothing short of government subsidies to the tune of 80% of their costs would ever suffice. The rate I chose is pulled out of thin air but I definitely know that OmniTrax has been demanding one pay off after another to run the Hudson Bay Railway and Churchill Port since they first purchased it in the late 1990s. They have absolutely no shame about cutting off the many rail communities that depend on the railway for supplies and transportation. And they don't give a shit about economically starving the town of Churchill.

Grand Chief Arlen Dumas made a very good point when he called Greyhound to task for not giving northern communities advance warning so that they could find alternate plans to deal with this incredible loss of service. I hope he manages to get the conglomerate One North on track (no pun intended) to not only purchase OmniTrax holdings but establish other transportation networks to service northern Manitoba.

cco

Based on the fact they're laying off 415 people for 2 million riders, assuming a standard full-time work week paid at $20/hour, it'd cost $8.63/rider/year to keep those buses on the road. $17.26/rider/year if they paid generous union wages. Speaking only for myself, if the federal government wanted to nationalize those routes, that's an investment of tax dollars I wouldn't even notice, let alone object to.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

cco wrote:
Based on the fact they're laying off 415 people for 2 million riders, assuming a standard full-time work week paid at $20/hour, it'd cost $8.63/rider/year to keep those buses on the road. $17.26/rider/year if they paid generous union wages. Speaking only for myself, if the federal government wanted to nationalize those routes, that's an investment of tax dollars I wouldn't even notice, let alone object to.

I hope that Arlen Dumas and other like minded folks take it on. I know that our current governments in Saskatchewan and Manitoba won't because they view it as socialism.

lagatta4

I see that others have beat me to this story. This endangers vulnerable people who either can't afford a car or can't drive for various reasons. Indeed, why on earth don't they have smaller buses for less-travelled routes? They could arrange stops at public toilets.

Even some Montréal STM routes use smaller buses, for example the bus that goes through Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, the town at the western point of the island.

NorthReport

The rich have never paid for it all. What the rich do very well however is get lawyers and accountants working to ensure the rich never have to pay their fair share of taxes, effectively keeping the rich, rich, and the poor, poor.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The no notice of stopping service is the real kicker in this story. Greyhound withdrew from Vancouver Island last year so a local bus company that used to run tourists to Tofino has expanded and taken over most of the routes and small 'depots'. As well we have another company running smaller 16 buses on a reservation sysem only. The problem with BC's North is the distance between small communities.

However the affordability issue is another matter. Most really poor people cannot afford a long bus trip no matter whether it is a Greyhound or a smaller operator. The Highway of Tears shows the need for some safe ride system for the people who don't have the fare to go hundreds of miles to the next community.

 

Misfit Misfit's picture

The Saskatchewan Transportation Company was a Crown corporation  that was set up by the NDP government to provide bus service to the many small rural communities in our province. The NDP treated STC as a very essential service.

As bus demand gradually dwindled over the years, STC switched from the full sized Greyhound style buses to the smaller 12 seat buses to keep some of the rural routes going.

Brad Wall treated STC like a business. If it lost money some years then the fiscal solution was to shut it down and liquidate all the assets which they did.

Now, we see all kinds of people on the busy highways in -32 degree weather out hitchhiking. It is very dangerous and sickening to see.

The Federal Government needs to step up to the plate and establish a national bus service. We are the second largest country in the world geographically and we are very widely dispersed throughout all the regions. This is the governments responsibility and they need to step up to the plate and take ownership of the issue.

Private enterprise and capitalism failed. This is an essential service.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Greyhound withdrew from Vancouver Island last year so a local bus company that used to run tourists to Tofino has expanded and taken over most of the routes and small 'depots'. As well we have another company running smaller 16 buses on a reservation sysem only.

Sounds like the market worked.  Now we just need one or two more competitors to drive the prices down.

 

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Sounds like the market worked for tourists. Not so great for remote communities that are impoverished and have no tourism.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Would Canada rather move steaming piles of bitumen or people?

What’s more important in Canada: moving oil or moving average people?

If importance is measured by the subsidies that governments give both, the answer is clear: it’s oil.

On Monday, Greyhound announced that they’re cancelling all inter-Canada freight and passenger service west of Sudbury. The company is unable to break even and has finally called it quits. As buses are the most accessible and efficient form of transportation, it’s a profound attack on low income people, non-drivers and rural communities alike.

The contrast between how we fund moving people versus how we fund moving oil, is stark: if you can’t afford to fly and you have no car, you have a far better chance at traveling if you’re a steaming pile of bitumen.

Consider the subsidies of each kind of transportation. Moving oil costs governments billions of dollars: the Trudeau Liberals handed Kinder Morgan $4.5 billion to build their Trans Mountain pipeline expanion, an economic gamble that will make it nearly impossible for Canada to reach its carbon reduction targets. National Observer has reported that the federal government could spend up to $20 billion in project costs and mitigation efforts for possible spills. According to a recent report, Canada, along with the United States, subsidize oil and gas the most of all G7 countries. Canada also ranks lowest in how transparent the government is about these subsidies.

Meanwhile, bus lines are the cheapest and most accessible mode of moving people, both in large cities, and between rural communities. Greyhound, responsible for the lion’s share of moving people in Western Canada, receives no subsidies at all.

Via Rail, the federal Crown corporation that provides the main passenger rail service in Canada, received about $354 million in government funding for 2017, down from about $400 million in annual funding in 2013 and 2014. But outside of the heavily populated areas of Ontario and Quebec, Via Rail doesn't offer the same flexibility, frequency and affordability as the current Greyhound services....

lagatta4

While I agree with you about the necessity of buses and transport access for all, in cities public transport forms with a higher carrying capacity (trams, and métro lines) are essential for the system to function. I live about one minute from my closest bus, and about 10 from my closest métro station. Of course in fine weather I simply walk to the métro, but it gets so icy here in the winter that sometimes I wait for the bus.

In rural areas, we need bus stops with shelters for cold weather, and some way of ensuring their safety.

The lack of bus service in rural and remote areas also indicates how low a value we place on people who are low-income or otherwise vulnerable, and often Indigenous.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

lagatta

..there's a link i shared up thread a while back. an area in europe connected it's struggle for free transit with the rural. it offered mini buses that you could order in advance that would come pick you up and later take you back home. not for free but really cheap. while that may work for rural places close to cities it may not work for more isolated places. 

..this needs a creative approach that can be seen though the eyes of a different economy. one not built on market forces. one where we employ folks in other places than extractive industries governed by trade deals. this is where subsidy could go instead of. this is what i'm getting from the #225 post. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Consider the subsidies of each kind of transportation. Moving oil costs governments billions of dollars: the Trudeau Liberals handed Kinder Morgan $4.5 billion to build their Trans Mountain pipeline expanion

That's not analagous to subsidizing a bus company, it's analagous to subsidizing the building of the highways a bus might travel on. 

Didn't we do that, too??

Quote:
Greyhound, responsible for the lion’s share of moving people in Western Canada, receives no subsidies at all.

Given that they're just one private transportation company, I can already hear the weeping and gnashing of teeth if the government started subsidizing them (which is to say, their investors).

Here's the sticky wicket:  it's not especially feasible to transport someone 400km from a remote community to a big city so they can visit their aunt, for the $25 they can afford to pay.  So... then what? 

Everyone covers the bill, because we all love our aunties and should visit them as often as possible? 

The one person pays the $320 it really costs, because that's what it really costs?

The government requires Greyhound to cover the cost deficit as a requirement of operating in Canada, but other bus lines face no such requirement?

Any solutions that actually make sense?  Noting that "drop it at the feet of one company" doesn't make sense?

NorthReport

Nothing except nature is free and they even want to charge for that  

I agree that users should not have to drop a fare in the box or shell out for a compass card or whatever but we need to stop saying it is free which first of all is erroneous and it belittles the importance of public transit

the automobile industry should be paying for public transit and bicycle lanes in order for automobiles and trucks to access our government roads

it’s time to kill the secretive poisoning Canadian lobbying system 

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Consider the subsidies of each kind of transportation. Moving oil costs governments billions of dollars: the Trudeau Liberals handed Kinder Morgan $4.5 billion to build their Trans Mountain pipeline expanion

That's not analagous to subsidizing a bus company, it's analagous to subsidizing the building of the highways a bus might travel on. 

Didn't we do that, too??

Quote:
Greyhound, responsible for the lion’s share of moving people in Western Canada, receives no subsidies at all.

Given that they're just one private transportation company, I can already hear the weeping and gnashing of teeth if the government started subsidizing them (which is to say, their investors).

Here's the sticky wicket:  it's not especially feasible to transport someone 400km from a remote community to a big city so they can visit their aunt, for the $25 they can afford to pay.  So... then what? 

Everyone covers the bill, because we all love our aunties and should visit them as often as possible? 

The one person pays the $320 it really costs, because that's what it really costs?

The government requires Greyhound to cover the cost deficit as a requirement of operating in Canada, but other bus lines face no such requirement?

Any solutions that actually make sense?  Noting that "drop it at the feet of one company" doesn't make sense?

Nationalization. The more profitable lines subsidize the less profitable lines. Another option would be to help communities to collectively set up a non-profit that they run themselves, subsidized if need be; the equivalent of o-op housing for transportation. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Nationalization. The more profitable lines subsidize the less profitable lines.

Great.

Nothing at all to do with Greyhound though, yes?  I'm only curious why this is their mess to fix, just because they were the last transport company to try to make a go of it.  Were they supposed to become a charity, or what?

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Nationalization. The more profitable lines subsidize the less profitable lines.

Great.

Nothing at all to do with Greyhound though, yes?  I'm only curious why this is their mess to fix, just because they were the last transport company to try to make a go of it.  Were they supposed to become a charity, or what?

I agree. Not their mess to fix. It still would have been better for their brand had they given the communities much more warning. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..greyhound is being the good corporate citizen more likely creating the circumstances that will get them public monies. it's like shock doctrine whereby a crisis is manufactured as a way of achieving this. then bring back some but not quite all what they have dumped because of the lack of profit. 

..the federal gov is forking over huge subsidies to the oil industry. alta also in the form of low royalties, low taxes and next to nothing clean up costs. the bc gov recently gave huge tax concession to the lng industry plus building them a power plant called site c that runs into the multi billions.

..and all this fixes nothing. it just transfers wealth from us to them. 

..on top of this shit pile there is no government in waiting that will do anything different. so i suggest we get off our asses and have a battle royal with our governments. conversations about what a government could or should do are dead end if they aren't prefaced with action in the community.

..we should know this by now.  

cco

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Nothing at all to do with Greyhound though, yes?  I'm only curious why this is their mess to fix, just because they were the last transport company to try to make a go of it.  Were they supposed to become a charity, or what?


Well, it's not like these routes were a pilot project they just gave a shot for a couple of months, then realized they were unprofitable. Greyhound knows it's a vital part of the infrastructure, since it's been shaking down governments for extra subsidies for years using precisely that argument. Companies that are the sole providers of infrastructure to a given area (be they telecoms, railroads, ambulances, shipping lines, airlines, or what have you) have long had a close symbiotic relationship with governments, receiving subsidies and being subject to regulation preventing them from just closing up shop overnight.

Personally, I'm also in favour of nationalizing the routes, but I find it amusing that many of the same politicians who are saying this is just the free market in action are the same ones who'll line up when there's a strike at CN or CP to push for back-to-work legislation, because those are vital pieces of infrastructure, and if their workers can't afford to work there at those wages, well, tough shit. None of those Tories have yet endorsed back-to-service legislation and told Greyhound it'll just have to eat its losses. Why, it's almost as if their support for back-to-work legislation has nothing to do with keeping services in place, and everything to do with ideological assaults on labour.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Well, it's not like these routes were a pilot project they just gave a shot for a couple of months, then realized they were unprofitable.

Of course.  They were probably economically viable to run for decades, and if that were still the case then I would assume Greyhound would still be running them.  Or, if they chose to leave anyway, another company (or more) would take over those viable routes.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Touché CCO. Some battles matter more than others when it comes to capitalists.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

What does this have to do with "capitalists"?  Other than to scorn them for not being charities?

Let me just ask again:  is Greyhound literally the only bus company west of Lake Superior?

Also, can anyone tell me what "B.C. Transit" is?  Do they also have a responsibility to provide transportation in B.C., like Greyhound?

lagatta4

Here is another aspect of accessible transit, or the contrary. The CAQ's plan would do nothing to reduce congestion, and would fuel sprawl: https://ricochet.media/en/2267/the-caqs-shameless-electoralism-is-a-blas...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..this document is in french. when i opended it in cromium browser it translated it to english.

..these policies came into force june 1st

Aid to transport

Paris Seniors Pass

The full free ticket for Parisians over 65 is in place. It is subject to means test: to belong to a fiscal household paying a tax on income subject to the scale (line 14 of the tax notice) less than or equal to € 2,028 (first request) or € 2,430 ( renewal).

Beneficiaries

People over the age of 65 (or over 60 if they are recognized as unfit for work), so that they can benefit from a transport offer and lead an active social life.

Award criteria

Living in Paris for at least 3 years (this situation is appreciated in the 5 years preceding the date of the application, so you may have lived in Paris, for 3 years, discontinuously, during the 5 years preceding your request).

...

Paris Access Pass

Beneficiaries

People with disabilities adults, so that they can benefit from a transport offer and lead an active social life.

...

"Transport Solidarity" pricing

The Solidarity Transport Agency of Ile-de-France informs you about all your rights to the "Solidarité Transport" tariff. All info.

Who is the "Transport Solidarity" pricing for?

You can request pricing "Solidarity Transport" if you are a beneficiary:

  • RSA base (plus or minus)
  • the specific solidarity allowance (SSA for the unemployed)
  • Complementary Universal Health Cover (CMUC)
  • State Medical Aid (AME)

For how long is the "free transport" package allocated?

The Free Transportation Package allows free travel for 3 months in all 6 zones. It will then be necessary to renew your package.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..checked some counties out. pop 150,000, 30,000, 34,000, 9,500. so connecting these ruralish communities with free transport.

Public transport free in 11 counties starting 1 July

quote:

Starting 1 July, Valga, Võru, Viljandi, Põlva, Järva, Jõgeva, Tartu, Ida-Viru, Hiiu, and Saare County are introducing free public transport for county residents. While they will still have to pay to use lines that cross county borders, all they will have to do is validate their free ride upon getting on their bus.

The data collected this way will then be used to determine how the network of bus lines should be changed or developed.

Four of Estonia's 15 counties have not joined the government's free public transport scheme. This means the situation will remain the same in Harju, Pärnu, Lääne-Viru, and Rapla County, though Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson (Centre) confirmed that they still have the option to join the scheme later on.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..pop around 4500.

Breckenridge, Colorado

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Rencontres des villes du transport gratuit - Cities Meeting on Free Public Transport

From the 1st of September 2018, Dunkirk (France) will become the largest French and European conurbation (with 200,000 inhabitants) to offer a totally free access to its bus network...

To celebrate this event and promote the exchange of experiences and knowledge on fare-free public transport systems, the Urban District Council of Dunkirk will hold its first Cities Meeting on Free Public Transport on the 3rd and 4th of September.

6079_Smith_W

Mr. Magoo wrote:

What does this have to do with "capitalists"?  Other than to scorn them for not being charities?

Let me just ask again:  is Greyhound literally the only bus company west of Lake Superior?

Also, can anyone tell me what "B.C. Transit" is?  Do they also have a responsibility to provide transportation in B.C., like Greyhound?

Those first two questions have been answered already. And in the same vein I think greyhound has shown how responsible they are. In any case, there was a news piece posted about the new northern B.C. bus service too. But you could try googling.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Free travel on public transport

Find out how to get free travel on Transperth buses. trains and ferries, from free rides for children and seniors to free transit zones.

Concessions

You may be entitled to free travel if you are a:

  • child four years old and younger
  • seniors SmartRider holder
  • carer, aged or disability support pension SmartRider holder
  • veterans SmartRider holder
  • vision impaired passenger
  • support person travelling with someone carrying a companion card

Free transit zones

Perth city has a free transit zone for buses and a SmartRider free transit zone for trains.

Central area transit (CAT) buses

Central areas of Perth, Fremantle and Joondalup have free, high frequency bus services.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Municipality of Stamboliyski Launches Free Public Transport

Stamboliyski Municipality is preparing to launch free public transport in the town and in the surrounding villages, BNT reported. The cost of transporting the citizens will be at the expense of the collected taxes and fees. So the municipality of Stamboliyskii, which has about 23,000 inhabitants according to official data, will become the only one in Bulgaria, where there will be no need for a public transport ticket.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Five German cities to slash public transport fares to fight pollution

Five German cities plan to emulate an Austrian scheme to radically cut the cost of public transport in a bid to combat pollution. The German government will subsidize the project with €128 million ($148 million) to help cover the income shortfall from cheaper tickets.

It’s an attempt by Berlin to assuage the European Union Commission, which has taken Germany and five other EU states to court for failing to respect EU limits on nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels. The city of Stuttgart, for instance, has recorded levels of 82 micrograms of NO2 per cubic meter of air — that’s more than double the allowed limit of 40 micrograms.

The five cities chosen for the clean air scheme are Bonn, Essen, Herrenberg, Mannheim and Reutlingen, all in the former west. The scheme is a lesser implementation of the pledge the German government made in February to test free public transport in five cities. But riding buses, subways and trams will become significantly cheaper under the plan, which has been seen by Handelsblatt and which the government is set to discuss with the cities’ mayors on Friday.

Bonn and Reutlingen want to follow Vienna’s example of introducing an annual ticket costing €365 — just €1 per day — for using all public transport. The exact offers vary from city to city, but all will offer significant price cuts and a variety of sweeteners such as reduced rates for car-sharing services and one free taxi ride per month.....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

lagatta4

The Vienna initiative is very inexpensive, but having to pay for the whole year at once could put it outside the reach of some low-income people.

These are certainly ideas to look to.

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Could the NO2 levels be higher in Germany because everyone was lied to about emissions from the German auto makers? If so, we know who should pay for this....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i agree about the all at once fare expense lagatta. it will be out of reach to many. also the idea that this alone will remove people from their cars is faulty. it seems to me they are stalling and trying to avoid a ban on diesel.

6079_Smith_W

Part of the reason why those levels are so high is because of the continued use of brown coal. In the 80s one third of all emissions in Europe came from the triangle of death straddling southern Saxony, Czechoslovakia and Poland.

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