Saturday, August 24, 2019

Worcester, MA considering fare-free #publictransit

A Massachusetts public transit agency is considering a fare-free bus system. 
The Telegram & Gazette reports that the Worcester Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board voted unanimously last week to conduct a fare analysis that includes consideration of a fare-free system. 
In a report in May, The Research Bureau called the WRTA "a perfect candidate" for a fare-free bus system. The report calculated that the $2 million to $3 million annual cost to provide free service could be made up through cost savings, increased governmental aid and partnerships. The report said offering the service for free would reverse the system's declining ridership.

WRTA Administrator Dennis Lipka says to go fare-free "we have to find a sustainable way of making that up" and one-time grants would not be sufficient. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

School students in Boston to ride fare-free

BOSTON (WHDH) - Boston public schools are making it easier for students to get to school.
Starting in September all students in grades seven through twelve who live in the city will receive a pass for that will provide unlimited travel on trains, buses and even some Commuter Rail lines.
This is an expansion of the MBTA pass program.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

The McPherson Paradox: growth = heat; collapse = heat

As a fan of life, I would prefer humans and other life forms avoid extinction in the near term. As a rational conservation biologist, I know better than to rely on my beliefs rather than evidence regarding the Sixth Mass Extinction and abrupt, irreversible climate change. In contrast to my evidentiary approach, most humans prefer fantasy over evidence. As one consequence, it is small wonder we have arrived at the edge of extinction. 

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Traffic congestion has reached a ‘tipping point’ in Massachusetts, state officials say

The Baker administration on Thursday acknowledged the state’s epic traffic has reached a “tipping point” and signaled support for major new tools to combat congestion, including allowing commuters to pay to bypass gridlock and reserving bus lanes on highways. 
At a news conference, Governor Charlie Baker released a long-awaited report that concluded what Boston-area commuters already know: Traffic in and around the city is bad, and getting worse.

“No one likes traffic and congestion, period, and it’s a frustrating and inconvenient reality for too many people,” he said. 

Monday, August 5, 2019

Capitalism the driver to near-term human extinction #nthe

According to thermodynamics, we will grow until our inputs end, or, until we choke on our outputs.

Between the two world wars, we understood thermodynamics, and, we discovered communism.

This was probably our last chance to consciously direct ourselves as a species.

Instead, millions were slaughtered, and their leaders were turned back to capitalism.

Now we are reduced to spectators, watching as banking elites turn up the furnace and pile up and the waste.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Can Worcester, MA, go fare-free?

Fare hikes are sometimes presented as a way to raise revenue, despite evidence that charging more to ride the bus does not necessarily improve cash flow. Instead, the 2017 fare hike preceded two straight fiscal years of declining farebox revenue. Total fixed-route fare revenue in 2018 was around $3 million, the lowest since 2010 (see Chart 1). 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

What if car subsidy had the tight budget restrictions that buses have?

When the Worcester Regional Research Bureau dropped a report last week advocating for the Worcester Regional Transit Authority to move to a fare-free system, the idea seemed to take hold in the community.

How do you replace the revenue. Who will pay for fare-free buses? These questions are asked because the frame is wrong. We should be asking who is paying for all the car subsidies? Well, one of the hidden costs is the loss of the biosphere.