Free and Accessible Transit Now

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epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

France will 'ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040'

France plans to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, the country's new environment minister has announced.

Nicolas Hulot made the announcement as he unveiled a series of measures as part of newly elected President Emmanuel Macron's plan to make the country carbon neutral by 2050. 

Mr Hulot said he recognised the target would put pressure on France's car manufacturers, but he said they currently had projects which "can fulfil that promise"....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Hamilton transit doesn’t need privatization

An arm's length commission would solve HSR's problems — not privatization.

As an HSR bus driver for almost 29 years, and the president of ATU 107 — which represents HSR employees — I'm all too familiar with HSR's shortcomings.

Schedules haven't kept up with demands. Large parts of the city are under-served. Holidays, weekends and special-event service is often lacking.

The HSR, under city management, clearly does not work as well as it could and has not kept up with the growing need for transit in our city. Whether this is a problem of bad hiring choices by HR management, or meddling from city bureaucrats, the result is the same. The HSR needs to be a lot better than it is today.

But just because you don't like the direction of the school board, doesn't mean the solution is to privatize public schools.

The Liberals have already privatized Hydro. Should we add privatized health care, too? No.

The HSR belongs to us. All of us. We own it. And because we own it, we can change it....

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

This isn't exactly about "free" transit, but it's about less expensive transit, and it kind of makes sense.

Here is what the TTC should do instead of killing the two-hour transfer on St. Clair

On St. Clair, the TTC has been in the midst of a semi-permanent pilot project for the past dozen years where different rules apply: instead of covering a single trip in a single direction, a transfer is good for two hours of travel on the St. Clair line. If you live near St. Clair, you can go to the grocery store, do your shopping, and return home, all on the same fare. You can hop off, visit a newsstand, hop back on and then get off at the café, then get back on and go to the subway. Or whatever you like. One fare is good for two hours of travel.

If you hop off the streetcar to grab a newspaper at your favouite newsstand, then hop back on, it's not like it costs the TTC something extra.  It is a bit perverse that you can travel the entire length of the east-west subway line, pretty much from Etobicoke to Scarborough, on one fare, but if you take a two block trip on a bus, get off, then get back on for two more blocks, it costs you two fares.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture


The Ontario Liberals are privatizing your public transit, but there’s still time to stop them and Keep Transit Public!

How is this happening?

Metrolinx, the provincial arm’s length transit planning organization, is only accepting bids from companies that can supply ALL components of the new Hamilton LRT line.

The components of the bid are: Finance, Design, Build, Operate and Maintain. (FDBOM).

Because the HSR doesn’t Finance, Design or Build, they are ineligible to compete in the tendering process, and are out of the running to Operate and Maintain the LRT. This effectively means that only large groups of private companies may even bid on the project. The current procurement process leaves the door open to the new LRT line being entirely privatized.

However, IT’S NOT TOO LATE. If you take action now, we can pressure Metrolinx and the Provincial Liberal Government to make HSR the default operator and maintenance provider of the new Hamilton LRT line....

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I'll tell you one genius thing that HSR did:  instead of laying streetcar tracks on the main routes, they use electic buses that are powered by overhead wires.  It's similar to a TTC streetcar, but where the streetcar only needs one wire (the track is effectively the other), HSR buses need two.  They connect to the buses via two telescoping "feelers", which allow the buses to change lanes.

This means that one stalled bus (or car) doesn't mean a whole long lineup of others that can't get past -- just pop the feelers down on the stalled bus and any behind it can just go around.  It also means that Hamilton doesn't have to rip up and replace track every few years like here in Toronto.  A clever solution, IMHO.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..what a disaster in the making. 

Public Transit, Privatization and the Canada Infrastructure Bank

The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) will create a pipeline of privatization for our public transit systems. Corporations will be able to extract long-term profit from public transit fares and public subsidies.

Our governments subsidize public transit because it’s critical infrastructure for our communities: to get us from place to place, to reduce traffic congestion, and to green our environment. When we allow corporations to plan, finance, operate, maintain and own public transit, we funnel ridership fares and government funding into corporate coffers.

The CIB will give unprecedented control and decision-making power over our public transit infrastructure to private sector investors. This means the public interest will take a back seat in transit planning and development.

Many of our public transit systems in recent years have been built using public-private partnerships (P3s). The CIB will open the door to even further privatization, allowing profit to drive public transit planning and decision-making....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..population 89,000

It’s time for Asheville to move to fare-free transit

It’s time for Asheville to join other cities across the state and the country in a move toward fare-free transit.

Transportation via bus provides access to jobs, housing, education, child care and groceries. Right now the fares paid by riders cover 14 percent of what it costs to operate our transit system. That does not include the cost of maintaining the fare boxes, accounting, or printing tickets and passes. It also doesn’t include the cost of buying new buses, installing bus shelters and other capital expenses.

Going fare-free could potentially save the City of Asheville money by eliminating the impending investment in proposed fare boxes, which would cost upwards of $15,000 per bus. Other cities that have gone fare-free realized the fares generated barely cover the expenses of collecting fares, purchasing and maintaining fare boxes, accounting costs, and managing the funds that are collected.

Shortly after moving to Asheville in 2006, Asheville Redefines Transit (ART) was offering fare-free for 90 days. The invitation to attract new riders included the same reasons as it would now:

  • Reduction of transportation costs.
  • Not having to deal with traffic & parking.
  • A more environmentally conscious commute with less energy consumption and emissions.

That was the first time I had ever used a bus, and I wasn’t the only one to accept the invitation as ridership increased more than 60 percent during that time....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Public transit in Montreal should be free

Montreal is one of the most livable cities in the world, in part because of our safe and clean public transit system.

If there’s one policy that would go a long way to improving our quality of life, however, it would be to make all public transit free.

Fiscal conservatives will immediately balk at this suggestion (as they often do at Big Ideas): after all, the Société de transport de Montréal’s 2017 budget notes that $632 million was culled from transit fares. Even if we take into account an offsetting reduction in road repairs that might result from fewer people driving and more people taking public transit, those figures wouldn’t balance: the City of Montreal’s 2017 budget invested $138 million for road repairs.

But consider that there are hidden costs to having so many cars on Montreal roads and multiple benefits to reducing their numbers. It’s important to include these in the equation....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..this page was translated by my browser

Dunkirk: buses will be free from 1 September 2018

From 1 September 2018, Dunkerque will become the first French city with more than 200 000 inhabitants to offer free buses at all times....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

13 cities that are starting to ban cars

In 2015, Oslo announced a plan to ban all cars from its city center by 2019. As the Guardian notes, the plan received some protest from businesses, so the city came up with a clever solution.

Instead of kicking out cars, Oslo's council said in June 2017 that it will just make it harder for them to get there by banning parking spaces. A few months earlier, Norway also confirmed that it will phase out diesel and gas-powered cars nationwide by 2025.

But cities in Norway are not the only ones getting ready to take the car-free plunge. Urban planners and policy makers around the world have started to brainstorm ways that cities can create more space for pedestrians and lower CO2 emissions from diesel.

Here are 13 cities leading the car-free movement....


Ok I'm going to contribute to this thread through the perspective of China. The reigning king of public transportation!

in my wife's city of Nanning, Guangxi province in the south, a subway line was built. Started a couple years ago and is very long and also goes to the airport!(but not sure if the airport line is complete)

there's also the numerous buses which I hope now aren't so fuckin packed now and you can actually get a seat!

now I'm not sure how the fees work for Nannings subway line, but in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Bangkok(Thailand) they use tokens dispensed at kiosks with a map and u pay by distance travelled. The buses in nanning use the same pay per distance formula so I would imagine the subway will work same way. 

Then there's the hi speed rails that connect the country! This is another jewel in the crown of the Chinese public transit that ties the whole public transit culture together! Right now I believe most if not all major coastal cities from north to south are connected. Tickets for hi speed is cheaper than air flight. And since train stations are located closer to downtown, the slower speed of hi speed rail compared to jet airplanes is offset with quicker boarding times and cheaper cab/bus/subway fairs closer to downtown. And there's still hi speed lines being built as we speak connecting more and more cities into the interior. Now none of this free. But it is significantly cheaper than Canada for sure! I'm adding this because I believe it's foolishly impossible to look at any aspect of public transportation without being fully aware of what's going on in China! And two side notes. There's talk of building tubes for the hi speed rail and creating partial vacuums within so the trains are travelling through less resistance air such as jets at 30k feet. And in Nanning the gas morticycle was banned a few years ago and electric scooters are soooo freakin popular it's not funny! The real zinger is that u can buy a new electric scooter for less than 500 RMB(100$ Canadian)


Columbus is the first major US city to give downtown workers free public transport passes regardless of who they work for, and whether they intend to use them. Can the programme change the mindset of this car-centric city?...

SID convinced its members – 500-odd business and property owners – to pay for free mass transit passes for their employees. Under the scheme, which was approved last month, the members will be charged an annual rate of three cents per square foot of space they occupy downtown. The fees will go to the Central Ohio Transit Authority (Cota) for their workers’ passes.

The passes can be used on any day and on any journey – not just the commute. The programme is limited to people who work downtown, turning a financial burden into an incentive.

Foolishly limited to workers. What about students and shoppers?

Montreal would be an ideal city to have free public transport downtown. We have many relatively narrow streets due to the limitations of Montreal Island and it's early development. Cars should have been banned from old Montreal decades ago.



There should be free public transport everywhere on the island. It may be necessary to prioritise certain groups at the outset, but this should be transitory as an incentive for public transport and disincentive for car use.

Our narrow pre-car streets are a positive, not a negative.