World Streets welcomes discussion of fare free public transport because we believe that it is important to listen to alternative views from different organizations and countries in order to arrive at wise public policy. This contribution comes from one of the most active international groups pushing zero fair public transport, Planka.nu in Sweden.
William Spenser Vickerey, winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics, is considered the father of Congestion Pricing. He first proposed it in 1952, for the New York City subway system, recommending that fares be increased in peak times and in high-traffic sections and be lowered in others. Elected officials considered it risky at the time, and the technology was not ready. Later, he made a similar proposal for road pricing.
This article was written in 1992 by Todd Litman, executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, to summarize some of the defining principles set out in Vickerey’s extensive path-breaking early extensive pathbreaking contributions which in many ways defined the field. This essay can be found in its original form in the website of the Institute at http://www.vtpi.org/vickrey.htm.
In June of 2012 your editor was invited by the mayors of Tallinn to give a public talk to comment on how some of the policy concepts developed over the last two decades under the New Mobility Consult program might be put to work to support their decision to take new approaches to transport policy challenges starting in 2013. Subsequent to that visit we signed with the City of Tallinn a public agreement of strategic cooperation over 2013.
The first transformative event they were considering for 2013 was the first-ever Free Public Transport project in a European capital. After careful planning their project went into service on 1 January. In the run-up to this important event World Streets in cooperation with our readers has been developing and drawing to the city’s attention a broad repertory of expert comments on FPT, all of which you can see at http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/category/free-public-transport/. We invited contributing editor Anzir Boodoo to read through the various comments and see if he could put them in some kind of order for our busy readers in a single article, which you can now read here. Continue reading
Here is a “free transport project” that is working remarkably well: In the Spring of 2005 the community of Greater Lyon in cooperation with their supplier JCDecaux launched the world’s first mega Public Bike System, Vélo’v. The project put some 3000 bikes into service, available in about 300 stations spread for the most part over the City of Lyon. All this is successful, amply detailed in many places and continues to this day to yield yeoman service for some 60,000 registered users (including the author). To gain access to the system, in addition to one day or one week tickets, the user pays an annual fee of € 25, and when using a bike a caution is debited from the users credit card until it is returned to a parking slot. From a user perspective it is a very successful system and use experience.
* But where is the “free public transport” element?
This list is taken from the 2010 posting provided by the Free public transportation Debate at http://debatepedia.idebate.org/en/index.php/Debate:_Free_public_transportation. It needs to be updated but still is a useful point of reference, along with the latest Wikipedia entry at Free Public Transport. Please send us your updates either as Comments here, or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. Continue reading
A trickle of media reports over the last year or so have been hinting about a new single unified ticketing system or fare collection method being pushed through various big and small cities. That sounds promising, but is there more to it that we should be considering? (Venkatesh Nayak. Access to Information Programme . Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative) Continue reading