@TheOne From the article:

"After two successful test phases, the city’s decision has been made: bus and tram travel will become free for Montpellier’s residents. From December 2023, none will have to pay for public transport.

"In this way, the city aims to reduce air pollution, cut emissions and support disadvantaged groups.

"The measure is part of a 150 million euro package that also includes the construction of new bicycle lanes.

Anyone have thoughts on free public transport? Would it work in your city?


#planning #UrbanPlanning #transport #tram #trams #train #trains #ClimateCrisis #ClimatePolicy #railway #metro #cities

@tom_andraszek @TheOne Playing devil's advocate for a moment, in theory, the logic of requiring a fare is that, as patronage increases, there's more money to improve services.

So more passengers -> more fares -> more services -> more passengers -> more fares.

It's a virtuous cycle.

As opposed to cars, where more passengers -> more traffic -> worse travel times.

That being said, there are good alternatives.

Properties close to public transport services tend to have higher property prices.

A small council rates levy or property tax can capture that value, and be used to pay for the service.

Another option is the Hong Kong Metro model, where the service generates a profit as a result of property development above and around the stations.

In theory, that revenue could be used to fund a public transport service.

@tom_andraszek @ajsadauskas @TheOne I don't think people are entirely rational economic access-seeking actors on a per-trip basis. I'm more interested in the psychological difference between pay-per-trip (transit) and pay-once-a-year (car insurance, rates - plus monthly payments if you have a lease, but you can't just not pay them if you don't drive, it's a long term commitment too).

@tom_andraszek @ajsadauskas @TheOne Free PT is one way to align payment frequency (well, remove the pay-per-trip and replace it with nothing), but another is discounted long term public transport passes, creating pre-commitment to taking public transport. And another, perhaps more politically difficult, is road fares per car trip....

@tom_andraszek @ajsadauskas @TheOne Well not perhaps, obviously more difficult. Discounted monthly passes already used to exist, and I don't see that they're technically incompatible with smart-card systems.

Monthly or yearly passes could be salary sacrified and/or a welfare benefit, resulting in many people getting effectively free PT - but seeing it differently from general free PT, as a thing of value that they paid for/were given and should take advantage of... maybe.


@tom_andraszek @ajsadauskas @TheOne but this is all just tinkering compared to competitive speed, frequency, and reach/door-to-door time.

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@jroper @tom_andraszek @TheOne Definitely agree that speed, reach, and frequency should be the main priority. Especially given the very sorry state of public transport in many suburbs and towns.

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