Saturday, January 27, 2018

Free Public Transit Would Make R.I. Healthier Economically and Environmentally

ecoRI News: "Thus, I suggest free fares for all who ride the buses. It’s not so far-fetched. Here's why:

About a third of RIPTA passengers — senior citizens and those with disabilities — already ride for free. Allowing the other two-thirds to do so would avoid the need for the multimillions RIPTA is about to spend on new fare boxes, and, despite all the talk of “intermodal,” there are apparently no plans to have a compatible system with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and on processing those fares.

There would be no need to print, market, and distribute transfers and passes. It would speed up trips by speeding up boarding, thus both using buses and drivers more efficiently, and attracting more riders. It can truly put Rhode Island on the map and get the attention of potential progressive employers attracted by the idea of the one statewide free transit system.

RIPTA’s lost fare-box revenue, about $20 million, would be only about one-tenth of what the state is preparing to spend to phase out car taxes. Note commuters to downtown Columbus, Ohio, reportedly will get free bus transit to help reduce congestion and parking problems there. And having lived in Oregon in the mid-1970s when Portland was considered a failed city, one thing that turned around both its downtown and its transit system was a large downtown free fare zone — same in Seattle. Though over decades, its free fare was cut back and they had a problem with transit when it was used as a homeless shelter, but as most of our homeless population can already ride the RIPTA system for free, that won’t be as much of an issue here."

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Massachusetts - Want business? Got #transit?

MetroWest: "Public transportation options are often a key factor when major corporations decide where to locate, William Kennedy, an asset manager at National Development, told guests Friday at the annual MetroWest Economic Research Center (MERC) Conference hosted by Framingham State University. He cited two companies that recently showed interest in moving into the 9/ 90 Corporate Center in Framingham but opted to move to the New Balance corporate office in Brighton because of better access to public transportation.

“It is definitely the first or second question they ask,” Kennedy said about mass transit."

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Amtrak subsidy lower than most people think

90.5 WESA: "“Amtrak requires less subsidy than any other national rail system,” Dukakis says. “Amtrak makes more of its money from the fare box than any other national rail passenger system in the world. ... About 85 percent of its expenses are paid for by passengers and system revenue. That's pretty remarkable, and I don't think most people understand this.”

Amtrak’s current subsidies pale in comparison to the nation’s highway system, Dukakis points out. Highways in America get over $40 billion dollars in federal funding every year; air transportation gets about $16 billion. Amtrak’s funding is down to a few hundred million dollars."

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Atmospheric carbon breaks a record while US kills Muslims for more oil

Climate Central : "On Tuesday, the Mauna Loa Observatory recorded its first-ever carbon dioxide reading in excess of 410 parts per million (it was 410.28 ppm in case you want the full deal). Carbon dioxide hasn’t reached that height in millions of years. It’s a new atmosphere that humanity will have to contend with, one that’s trapping more heat and causing the climate to change at a quickening rate."

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

CT Politicians squabble over #autosprawl meltdown

Yankee Institute : "In 2016, the national transportation research organization reported 44 percent of the state’s major roads are in poor condition and 34 percent of the bridges are in need of major repair or replacement.
A 2016 study by the Reason Foundation found that Connecticut ranked 47th in the nation in terms of cost effectiveness for its transportation spending. Connecticut has spent a total of $477,875 per mile of road in the state."

Thursday, April 6, 2017

#Farefree bus system in VT keeps going despite snow

reformer : ""Sometimes, the road is closed," she said. "Sometimes, it's very slow going. Our buses don't have difficulty getting over the mountain. But often, other cars or tractor trailers are in the way.""