Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Fare-free bus idea gains traction in Worcester via @NCKotsopoulos

WORCESTER - Advocates for a fare-free Worcester bus system filled the City Council chamber Monday night to make their case.
About 90 people, reflecting a wide cross section of the community, attended the first in a series of public hearings before the City Council Public Service and Transportation Committee to consider recommendations made by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau last May for a fare-free bus system.
During 90 minutes of public testimony, 37 people spoke, a vast majority in favor of giving the fare-free system a try.
Those who spoke included representatives from the local business community, college students, environmental advocates, community and social justice activists, and many everyday riders of Worcester Regional Transit Authority buses.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Fares are user fees, they protect the subsidized, for-profit, oil-auto-sprawl axis

“It’s not just the cost, it’s the waiting,” Gray said. “Nothing is changing, so why are we paying more?” Some of her neighbors bought cars, she said, figuring that if transportation was going to be expensive, at least it could be reliable, too. huffpost.com 
The above statement is more powerful than all the "studies" of the planning "experts." The purpose of user-fees [fares] is to ration use. The higher the fare, the less the use. They keep you in a car.

And below. This paragraph destroys the trolls' current best argument. Trolls tell us to try to make public transit better before making it fare-free. That would consign us to 100 more years of lobbying.
It’s a move that Gray and other local advocates believe will not only ease the financial burden on riders but also increase the number of people who choose to take transit, ultimately touching off a virtuous cycle that will lead to better bus service and fewer cars on the road.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Candidate for Massachusetts State Representative calls for #freepublictransit

Increasing fares has led to decline. Fare-free make economic sense.

Fare free transit makes both moral and economic sense, and would be a critical step in fighting climate change. The MBTA has increased fares 4 times since 2012, while ridership has continued to decline. Cities that have adopted free public transit, meanwhile, have seen ridership increase as well as a surge in transit equity. Furthermore, fares from bus and subway rides amounted to just over 20 percent in revenues for the MBTA budget in 2018, a gap that could be filled with new progressive revenue if fares were eliminated.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Best way to improve public transit is start by removing fares

Michelle Wu, a City Council member in Boston, wants everyone to ride for free on subways and buses that crisscross the region. 
Wu says the city is experiencing a "transportation crisis" as ridership declines, rush-hour traffic rises and the infrastructure of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority continues to crumble.

The transportation authority needs salvation and money for repairs, commuters and local transit advocates say, but instead of raising fares beyond the $2.90 it costs now if you pay for a subway ride in cash, Wu thinks a solution may lie in dropping fares altogether.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Brockton, MA, City Councilors open-minded to idea of #freepublictransit

“I haven’t heard of it in Brockton but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening,” said City Council President Shirley Asack. “If other cities and towns are doing it, we should be as well.”
At-Large City Councilor and former mayor Moises Rodrigues expressed interest in fare-free programs for low-income riders or students, but stopped short of supporting a universal subsidy.
Win Farwell, another former mayor and at-large city councilor, said the $225,000 price tag in Lawrence seems affordable in the grand scheme of municipal finances.
“That is not a large sum of money within a $450 million budget, which Brockton has,” he said.

Ridership up 24% on fare-free buses in Lawrence, MA.

“The amount of money we’re collecting in fares is so little that we just decided to cover that amount with city money,” Rivera said. “I don’t know what Worcester or Brockton’s money situation is but it can’t be worse than mine. What I would say is just do it, use your own money. I think you’re going to find it’s very inexpensive.” 
Free buses have proven to be popular in Lawrence. Surveys conducted on the three subsidized routes found that ridership jumped 24 percent. Ninety percent of those riders were commuting to work, the data showed, and 87 percent of them earned less than $20,000 per year. 
“It says there is a need,” Rivera said of the ridership bump. “People say, ‘Can a dollar really be an impediment to travel?’ But when it’s $2 every day for a year, that’s real money.”

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

New Haven, CT, Mayor joins rally for better public transit

NEW HAVEN — Residents called for greater investment in public transportation and city streets Tuesday, with hopes of bolstering economic opportunity, combating climate change and giving all New Haven residents an equal ability to move through the city and region safely and comfortably.

...Dottie Green, a member of an organization that works to remember Parks’ legacy. “You cannot have equity and limit people’s access.

...“People should have more options to, in an affordable way, access their jobs, access government, and lead a life that is safe and allows us more opportunities to interact with people,” said Mayor Justin Elicker.

...According to the New Haven Independent, nine pedestrians were struck and killed in New Haven last year, and two more have been killed this year.

...“Lack of good, proper transportation is a barrier. When a person can’t find a job, or afford transportation to get to a job, or get home because the bus doesn’t run early enough or late enough, that is a huge barrier,” said Dumas. “Transportation is a civil rights issue.”

...“If I can’t access rural communities, or I can’t access (people in) communities that don’t look like me, then that is institutional racism built into our transportation system that we have to address — and we need to address,” said Farmer.