There are a good number of proponents around the world — politicians and activists for the most part — supporting the idea that public transport should be free. It certainly is a tempting idea on a number of grounds. And if we here at World Streets have our own thoughts on the subject (stay tuned), it is always good practice to check out both sides of the issues. to get the ball rolling, just below you will find four short statements taken from the Wikipedia entry, setting out arguments against FPT. More to follow on this but in the meantime we are interested in hearing from our readers and colleagues around the world both with (a) their comments on these criticisms and (b) yet other critical views. (This is sure to be a bit exciting.)
* Note: See numerous, extensive comments below.
If you get it, New Mobility policy reform is a no-brainer. However, while the New Mobility Agenda is a great starting place, it is not going to get the job somehow miraculously done just because it is the only game in town when it comes to sustainable transport. There is plenty of competition for your thin wallet, all that space on the street, and especially for that space between our ears. We have a few potential sticking points here that need to be overcome first.
Let’s have a quick look. After some years of talking with cities, and working and observing in many different circumstances, here is my personal shortlist of the barriers most frequently encountered in trying to get innovative transportation reform programs off the ground, including even in cities that really do badly need a major mobility overhaul.
And you may read this as a negative criticism of the various groups and interest mentioned here, but please that is not at all my intent. Human beings and most organizations are notoriously change resistant, that is a key element of their survival strategy. In this short essay is my intention simply to remind the reader of the most important tension points, so that we can have this in mind as we move ahead with the difficult task of finding allies for a new, better and fairer transportation system
– Eric Britton, Editor, World Streets
Penang, 4 August 2016: The state-appointed SRS consulting team who have presented their revised Transport Master Plan and project proposals have inserted specific high cost modal and technology choices without sharing the technical analysis behind these choices, with a heavy no-choice no-explanation preference for no less than three exotic monorails, elevated LRT, major road building and road works, and, depending on the day, bridges and/or tunnels.
Have they actually done their homework? No one knows since the technical studies are being kept confidential, despite promises by the state government to make them public.
Yet there are dozens of competing ways of getting from A to B in or around a city. Here’s an incomplete shortlist of different candidates, just to get us going on the suject:
Here we go again. Every day is a great day for World Streets to announce publicly, loudly and yet once again our firm belief that the most important single thing that our society, our nations and our cities, could do to increase the fairness and the effectiveness of our transportation arrangements would be to make it a matter of the law that all decisions determining how taxpayer money is invested in the sector should be decided by councils that respect full gender parity. We invite you to join us in this challenge and make it one of the major themes of sustainable transport policy worldwide in the year immediately ahead.
Cooperative barn raising in rural America
As part of preparing the way for a sponsored project, the last six weeks here were given over to work aimed at laying a firm organizational, working tools and communications base for the actual project. As of this date here are the main building blocks already for the most part in at least beta working order and ready to go as soon as the sponsors and partners give the green light:
We have no money gentlemen, so we shall have to think.
– Ernest Rutherford, on taking over Cavendish Laboratory in 1919
World Streets is an independent, collaborative, public interest platform working daily in support of sustainable transport, sustainable cities and sustainable lives and which, as a matter of policy, we make freely available to all who are looking to understand, support, and contribute to the sustainability agenda anywhere in the world.
We firmly believe that there should be no barriers, and especially not commercial ones, to the free circulation of news, tools, counsel and peer exchanges when it comes to the important issues of sustainable development and social justice. To ensure our full independence we do not accept advertising. We depend on the support of our readers, concerned public agencies, foundations and actors in the private sector to keep going. (Which is quite a challenge as you can well imagine.)