Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Students ride fare-free at University of North Texas

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Fare-free public transport becoming more popular with 99 free networks worldwide

Free urban transport is becoming increasingly popular. Wojciech Keblowski, an expert on urban research at Brussels Free University, says that in 2017 there were 99 free public transport networks in the world: 57 in Europe, 27 in North America, 11 in South America, 3 in China and one in Australia.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Estonia To Become The World’s First Free Public Transport Nation


by Regina Schröter celebrating  EU Green Week Pop Up City, 16 May 2018
Tallinn, known for its digital government and successful tech startups, is often referred to as Europe’s innovation capital. Now celebrating five years of free public transport for all citizens, the government is planning to make Estonia the first free public transport nation.

Allan Alaküla, Head of Tallinn European Union Office, shares some valuable insights for other cities.
Five years ago, citizens of Tallinn were asked in a referendum if free public transport should be realized. Why should citizens be involved in such political decisions?
“A decision for a long-term project should not only be taken by the current elected council, but it should be locked politically by asking for support from the public. Although a local referendum is not legally binding, the mandate from the popular vote is stronger than just from the council.”

To ride Tallinn’s network of trams, buses and trains for free, you must be registered as a resident, which makes the municipality profit €1,000 from your income tax every year. All you need to do then is getting a €2 green card and carrying your ID on public transport
How does this work out for the municipality?
“There’s no doubt that we not only cover the costs, but also come out with a surplus. We earned double as much as we have lost since introducing free public transport. We’re happy to see that so many people are motivated to register as residents in Tallinn to make use of free public transport.”
Who is profiting the most from free buses, trams and trains in Tallinn?
“A good thing is, of course, that it mostly appeals to people with lower to medium incomes. But free public transport also stimulates the mobility of higher-income groups. They are simply going out more often for entertainment, to restaurants, bars and cinemas. Therefore they consume local goods and services and are likely to spend more money, more often. In the end this makes local businesses thrive. It breathes new life into the city.”
What further actions is Tallinn taking to make the use of individual transport less attractive?
“Before introducing free public transport, the city center was crammed with cars. This situation has improved — also because we raised parking fees. When non-Tallinners leave their cars in a park-and-ride and check in to public transport on the same day, they can’t only use public transport for free, but also won’t be charged the parking fee. We noticed that people didn’t complain about high parking fees once we offered them a good alternative.”
What inspired the Estonian government to introduce free public transport all over the country?
“People in other parts of Estonia started to demand free public transport, too. In Wales, an experiment with free public transport is about to end in May, but has already been extended for another year. Taking this as an example, we would also like to remove the public transport ticketing for all rural connections in Estonia.”

What advice would you give to other European cities that are hesitant to implement free transport?
“Tallinn’s approach is not a universal solution for all and for some it might be too extreme. We know examples of cities in Poland, Germany and France that already realized free public transport or are considering it. But we’re also seeing plenty of partially free public transport ideas are being executed, ranging from free weekend rides and lower fares in off-peak hours to free public transport for the retired and students. Municipalities should be brave to use their city as a testing ground to find out what system is realistic for them to implement.”
Which city will be the next to copy Tallinn’s successful system?
“Right now, Paris is considering the introduction of free public transport — mostly to reduce pollution in the city center. Once a city of this size and scale takes the step, other cities will inevitably follow. No doubt about that.”


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Idaho Falls, seniors ride fare-free

magicvalley.com With limited funding, the transportation authority has little ability to advertise its services. But ridership has ticked up recently, especially since a new grant allowed the authority to provide rides to seniors for free.

Here in Idaho, he said, public transportation isn’t something a lot of people think about until they need it.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Estonia #freepublictransport shows sharp rise in ridership

news.err.ee According to the Road Administration's public transport statistic, the number of passengers across all counties that introduced free public transport on 1 July this year has increased by 20%. In Ida-Viru County, passenger numbers almost doubled.

The introduction of free public transport has increased the number of passengers by 92% in Ida-Viru County. Kirke Williamson, in charge of the Road Administration's public transport department, told ERR that the changeover to the state-funded free transport scheme has been smooth, and that it has had a positive effect on passenger numbers everywhere it was introduced.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

#freetransit for Fayetteville, AR

ozark.org Additionally, ORT will not charge a fare for exclusively-Fayetteville routes. The 7 ORT routes outside of the city will remain at $1.25 per ride and will be charged at boarding, including transfers from free-Fayetteville routes. This will ease the transfer between ORT and Razorback buses as Razorback routes have always been free-fare.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Another US college adopts #freetransit, this time in Tennessee

brentwoodhomepage Columbia State Community College and The TMA Group | Franklin Transit Authority have partnered to provide free public transit rides for Columbia State students through a new “Show I.D. – Ride for Free” campaign.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

IU South Bend students, faculty, staff can ride Transpo buses for free

SOUTH BEND — Starting Monday, students, faculty and staff at IU South Bend can ride for free on Transpo buses.

People have been asking for this for a long time.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

#freetransit for Seattle HS students

curbed.com Mayor Jenny Durkan has officially signed the “Orca Opportunity” plan, which will provide free bus passes to Seattle Public Schools high school students and Seattle Promise scholars at Seattle Colleges. The Seattle City Council passed the legislation on Monday in a unanimous vote.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

German cities to trial free public transport to cut pollution

German cities to trial free public transport to cut pollution
Plan to be tested in five cities in effort to meet EU air pollution targets and avoid big fines
By Philip Oltermann, The Guardian, Wed 14 Feb 2018 

Public transport is hugely popular in Germany, with 10.3 billion journeys being made in 2017. A plan to trial free public transport is part of an effort to reduce road traffic. [Photograph: Alamy Stock]

“Car nation” Germany has surprised neighbours with a radical proposal to reduce road traffic by making public transport free, as Berlin scrambles to meet EU air pollution targets and avoid big fines.
The move comes just over two years after Volkswagen’s devastating “dieselgate” emissions cheating scandal unleashed a wave of anger at the auto industry, a keystone of German prosperity.
“We are considering public transport free of charge in order to reduce the number of private cars,” three ministers including the environment minister, Barbara Hendricks, wrote to EU environment commissioner Karmenu Vella in the letter seen by AFP Tuesday.

 “Effectively fighting air pollution without any further unnecessary delays is of the highest priority for Germany,” the ministers added.
The proposal will be tested by “the end of this year at the latest” in five cities across western Germany, including former capital Bonn and industrial cities Essen and Mannheim.
The move is a radical one for the normally staid world of German politics – especially as Chancellor Angela Merkel is presently only governing in a caretaker capacity, as Berlin waits for the centre-left Social Democratic party (SPD) to confirm a hard-fought coalition deal.
On top of ticketless travel, other steps proposed Tuesday include further restrictions on emissions from vehicle fleets like buses and taxis, low-emissions zones or support for car-sharing schemes.
Action is needed soon, as Germany and eight fellow EU members including Spain, France and Italy sailed past a 30 January deadline to meet EU limits on nitrogen dioxide and fine particles.
Vella gave countries extra time to present further pollution-busting measures or face legal action.
“Life-threatening” pollution affects more than 130 cities in Europe, according to the commission, causing some 400,000 deaths and costing €20bn euros (US$24.7bn) in health spending per year in the bloc.
Countries that fail to keep to EU limits could face legal action at the European court of justice, the EU’s highest tribunal, which can levy fines on member states.
Even without the pressure from Brussels, air quality has surged to the top of Berlin’s priorities over the past year.
Suspicions over manipulated emissions data have spread to other car manufacturers since Volkswagen’s 2015 admission to cheating regulatory tests on 11 million vehicles worldwide.
Environmentalists brought court cases aimed at banning diesels from parts of some city centres, and fears millions of drivers could be affected spurred Merkel into action.
Titans like BMW, Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler or the world’s biggest carmaker Volkswagen agreed to pay some €250m euros into a billion-euro fund to upgrade local transport.
The government “should make sure that the car manufacturers finance the emergency measure” of free transport, Greenpeace urged, adding that more parking and road tolls in cities could help reduce urban traffic.
On their own account, the auto firms have stepped up plans to electrify their ranges, with a barrage of battery-powered or hybrid models planned for the coming decade.

Public transport is highly popular in Germany, with the number of journeys increasing regularly over the past 20 years to reach 10.3 billion in 2017.
In comparison with other major European nations, tickets can be cheap: a single ticket in Berlin costs €2.90, while the equivalent on the London Underground costs £4.90 (€5.50 or $6.80).
But cities were quick to warn that more planning was needed if free travel was to succeed.
“I don’t know any manufacturer who would be able to deliver the number of electric buses we would need” to meet increased demand if transport was free, Bonn mayor Ashok Sridharan told news agency DPA.
Meanwhile, the Association of German Cities chief, Helmut Dedy, warned that “we expect a clear statement about how [free transport] will be financed” from the federal government.
Other attempts around the world to offer citizens free travel have failed, including in the US city of Seattle.
Ministers “should think again during a ride on the U6 [underground line] in Berlin at 7.30 am,” Die Welt newspaper commented.
“The conclusion would be clear: more carriages, more personnel, and maybe even more tracks and lines would be needed. Where would the billions for that come from?”

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Ridership up sharply as town in France makes buses fare-free

European cities consider making public transport free to tackle air pollution : "Niort in western France has been running free buses since last September for its 125,000 inhabitants.

The scheme has been an enormous success, boosting passenger numbers by 130 per cent on some routes, slightly reducing the number of cars on the roads, and costing the town little more than when people had to buy tickets, said mayor Jérôme Baloge."

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Rēzekne, Latvia, free rides lead to 40% rise in ridership

Jūrmala mulls free public transportation for locals / Article / LSM.LV: "The scheme operational in Rēzekne, however, provides free rides for people who earn less than 90% of the average national monthly wage.

"The number of passengers has increased 40 to 50%.. Pupils and students have started to use this opportunity quite actively," says Rēzekne mayor Andrejs Rešetņikovs (Harmony). The scheme costs €320,000 to €340,000 for the city. "

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Miami Beach free trolleys

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Children ride public transport free in Cascais, Portugal

sol.sapo : "Today, in a municipality like Cascais, the network is free of charge for all children up to 12 years old and has symbolic prices for those over 65. The growth of the network will be accompanied by universality and free access."

Monday, February 19, 2018

Resort towns love the fare-free idea

Whistler tempts drivers to stay off the road | CTV Vancouver News: "Getting drivers of the road is exactly what the Resort Municipality of Whistler is trying to do.

The town has introduced an incentive program to cut down on commuter traffic by hiking municipal parking rates in exchange for free public transit at peak times.

Whistler's mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden said the initiative is supposed to cut down on commuter traffic by encouraging locals to walk or take public transit and encouraging tourists not to drive and take shuttles instead. It’s part of an effort to have less cars on the road to cut back on congestion.

Whilhelm-Morden said she's received complaints before about people who aren't used to driving in the inclement conditions seen on the Sea to Sky Highway, and improving that could be an added bonus in addition to cutting back on congestion.

The initiative has been going on for about a year and a half, and although Wilhelm-Morden said it's too early to provide numbers, she thinks the feedback has been largely positive."

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Partnership with LYNX allows free bus rides for Seminole State students, employees

Partnership with LYNX allows free bus rides for Seminole State students, employees: "Through a partnership with LYNX, students, faculty and staff at Seminole State College of Florida can now enjoy unlimited rides on LYNX buses for free. The service begins today."

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Fort Collins, Colorado students ride fare-free

Hitch a ride with your local public transportation system: "Transfort, a public transit system that is free to CSU students, has made riding to and from campus or essentially anywhere in Fort Collins a convenience rather than a hassle.

“Not only is it more environmentally friendly, but it helps me save the gas in my car,” said Jordan Preiss, a CSU sophomore studying psychology. “It’s just convenient having it right near my place.”"