21 February 2020

[2006] Joshua Gans - Automatic pricing of externalities

This is where the public transport equation enters the mix. First, the tolls on the roads could fund dramatically reduced public transport fees — maybe even negative ones (where you effectively get paid to use public transport). As noted by The Sunday Age, that would reduce congestion problems on roads. 
Second, if e-tags could be used to charge cards, why couldn't they be used to credit public transport users? Get on a tram, swipe your card and you get a credit. The credit may be towards your road account so commuters would face a double incentive not to use roads, or at least use them at the right times. 
...The result would be a technological means of pricing externalities and an improved environment. So I don't think The Age's idea is that radical. It is a blindingly sensible step towards good management of the transport system.

The mystery is why so-called environmentally conscious governments do not consider the idea.


10 February 2020

Would free bus rides boost Dayton’s economy? (March 2010)

www.daytondailynews.com: "DAYTON — Mayor Gary Leitzell is looking at the feasibility of providing free bus service to attract businesses and tourists to the Dayton region. 
“I’m looking at it as an economic development driver,” he said. “We can start by having a discussion.” 
Leitzell said the idea for free bus service sprang from a discussion with Steve Johnson, president of Sinclair Community College, focusing on ways to get more people — under 30 years old — to live and spend time downtown."

09 February 2020

Theodore Kheel

NNF’s founder, Theodore Kheel, was a longstanding advocate of mass transit. As early as 1965, he made headlines urging that tolls charged to drive cars into NYC be doubled and the proceeds used to help the City’s struggling transit system. Over the following decades, he continued to speak out, write, and even litigate in an effort to achieve a more balanced transportation system for New York-- one where driving was not unduly encouraged and mass transit was adequately funded.
As head of Nurture New York’s Nature, a program of NNF, Kheel conceived a new project in 2007 to help the cause of balanced transportation. At the time, Mayor Bloomberg was advocating a congestion pricing plan that would charge cars coming into the city about $10 a trip, and use the proceeds to raise public funds, which could be used for mass transit among other projects. In response, Kheel announced a $100,000 grant to study the feasibility of a “Bolder Plan”, one that would impose a charge on incoming cars sufficient to totally eliminate the transit fare in the Manhattan business district. The project culminated in a report, called “Balancing Free Transit and Congestion Pricing”. Free Transit Report (PDF), which Kheel sent to New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg, with the following introduction:
"The fundamental principle behind the plan is that car travel and mass transit are interrelated, like two sides of an equation, two weights counterpoised on a scale. Ideally, there should be a balance, but instead, our system is enormously, unconscionably out of balance. This report shows how we can correct that."

08 February 2020

Free Transit for Seniors in Illinois ! [2010]

Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune who advocates free transit for the CTA on his blog reports that Illinois may... correction will... make public transit free for seniors.

The governor would like to do even more: according to CBS2Chicago.com:

Ideally, Gov. Rod Blagojevich says, everyone should be able to ride public transportation for free.

Robert Reich, economist, free public transit advocate

(8) a sizeable increase in public goods such as transportation, public parks, recreational facilities, public museums and libraries, with free public transportation, including high speed rail; and,


Michael Laxer for City Councillor Ward 6 - #freetransit advocate

Elect Michael Laxer - Ward 6 City Councillor 2014: Michael Laxer for City Councillor Ward 6: "As Ward 6 City Councillor I will fight to see the Waterfront West LRT plan brought back to connect our Ward with Toronto's downtown in a faster and easier direct route. I will work to see transit expanded city wide and to have revenue tools put in place to finance and maintain this expansion. I will work to integrate GO Transit and TTC routes within the city so that people can use the Lakeshore line as if it was a subway.  I will also fight against any agenda to raise fares and will work towards FREE transit, which should be the environmental and social goal of any government."

Forward-thinking Durham mayor proposes free transit - again. [2011]

Durham mayor reiterates support for Rolling Hills redevelopment - Durham County - NewsObserver.com: "Regarding other priorities, Bell said the city should 'create a business and environmentally friendly atmosphere' to encourage businesses to grow and entice outside firms to locate in Durham. He said he is asking City Manager Tom Bonfield to set a 'reasonable goal' of jobs to be created in 2011 through city efforts.

Converting the DATA bus system to fare-free operation is one means for enhancing public transit that Bell wants the city administration to investigate, he said."