Monday, July 30, 2007

Free public transit

The Tyee, an independent alternative newspaper from British Columbia, Canada, in a recent investigative series made out a case that it was time people in cities got a free ride in public transit system. Free public transport, they say, would help reduce traffic congestion, carbon emission, and, save the authorities the establishment costs involved in collecting fares, which, in some places may be more than the collection made through tickets sales.

San Francisco mayor is reported to have ordered a serious study be made of the cost of charging people to ride public transit. In New York the mayor would dream of a mass transit given away for nothing, while an awful lot is charged for bringing an automobile to the city.

Fare-free public transit is an interesting thought; might even work somewhere (Portland, Seattle). It has been tried and given up in New Jersey and Texas; and attracted the homeless (using a running train or bus as shelter) and the hooligans on board in Florida, driving away the core passengers.

For those of us in India free public transport is no one's dream. It's an academic concept that we read about in blogs or the Tyee kind of publications that investigate issues and carry viewpoints widely ignored by the big media.

1 comment:

Ownah said...

Well written article.