Daily Archives: 26/11/2012

What is the right price for “Free” Public Transport?

No Dorothy, it would be nice but there is no such thing as a free lunch. Not even in Kansas. Our cities need money to operate and maintain all the many parts of their hopefully high quality “public transport” systems”, but they also need schools, sanitation, health facilities, elderly care,  parks and public spaces, security, jobs to give everyone a chance for a full life in a peaceful community . . . and the long list goes on.  Transport, which can finance itself largely, if you have the brains to get it right, should not be poaching from these no-less critical basic needs of the community.  More,  we need our public transport systems (21st century definitions) to be both freely and extensively used (what is sadder than an empty bus!) — and at the same time build in provisions so that the system is fully equitable as well as efficient. Continue reading

“I don’t believe in charity” – In memory of Roland Dreyfus

Ici chacun sait ce qu’il veut, ce qu’il fait, quand il passe ;
Ami, si tu tombes, un ami sort de l’ombre à ta place. *

Yesterday at the end of a long day I received an email announcing the untimely  and totally unexpected demise of my dear friend and colleague, Rolland Dreyfus, founder and principal inspiration and motor behind the Accès Universel program since its creation in 2006. In case you do not know his work you can follow the program he created with his energy, commitment and vision from its beginning  via their website at http://www.accesuniversel.eu  (where you will also find the announcement of his death). What to do? I am not on the board of the association (I am only  an advisor) so I am not in a position to get directly involved in the decisions to continue  or not either the work of the Association or the website. So rather than sit around moping and feeling absolutely powerless I took the risk of trying something immediately as a modest testimonial to support his work and vision. Continue reading