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  • Free transit? Kansas City is going to try.

    It'll be interesting to watch this and see the result.


    ​​​​​​Kansas City becomes first major U.S. city to make public transit free

    ​​​​​​This week, Kansas City, Missouri’s City Council voted unanimously to make the city’s bus system fare-free. The plan was a priority of recently elected Mayor Quinton Lucas, whose “Zero Fare Transit” proposal was touted to increase transportation equity in the region, and endorsed by the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, which services multiple cities in Kansas and Missouri.

    Bus fares are currently $1.50 per ride or $50 for a monthly pass. Kansas City’s very successful streetcar, which opened in 2016, is already free.

    Many U.S. cities offer free travel on certain transit lines or within certain zones, and there are entire ski towns and college towns with free bus systems, but this is the first large U.S. city to implement a universal, systemwide fare-free scheme. Several European cities have experimented with eliminating fares, and at least one country, Luxembourg, is moving forward with a nationwide free transit plan.

    In the U.S., several cities including Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and Denver have floated the idea, but haven’t put forth formalized proposals.

    https://www.curbed.com/2019/12/6/209...transportation

  • #2
    I wonder if a free LRT zone in Downtown Edmonton could be resurrected. Perhaps the Metro (and Capital) line from MacEwan to Government Centre (five stops), and the Valley Line from City Centre (102 Street) to the Quarters (96 Street). Of course, the Churchill Station would serve both lines.
    "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.

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    • #3
      I’m a big supporter. Stop punishing the poor and let police and peace officers deal with real problems.

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      • #4
        ^Are you sure about this?

        A fare-free policy will increase ridership; however, the type of ridership demographic generated is another issue. In the fare-free demonstrations in larger systems reviewed in this paper, most of the new riders generated were not the choice riders they were seeking to lure out of automobiles in order to decrease traffic congestion and air pollution. The larger transit systems that offered free fares suffered dramatic rates of vandalism, graffiti, and rowdiness due to younger passengers who could ride the system for free, causing numerous negative consequences. Vehicle maintenance and security costs escalated due to the need for repairs associated with abuse from passengers. The greater presence of vagrants on board buses also discouraged choice riders and caused increased complaints from long-time passengers.

        http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc...=rep1&type=pdf

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        • #5
          ^ I haven't used Calgary transit downtown; is it as bad as what's described above with their free zone?

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          • #6
            ^^ I would agree with the above. Today, there are various programs and initiatives to supply free or reduced transit passes to those who need or deserve them. Reduce the cost of fares to zero and you will have an influx of people who have no other purpose to ride transit other then for a laugh, shake down customers, general mischief and to stay warm.
            How would free transit encourage ETS to become more efficient? Today we can reasonably calculate the cost recovery by using the tickets bought/ sold etc. Without this data we will be in worse shape when it comes to figuring out exactly how much it costs us to run a LRT system.
            If it is made "free", parking rates in the core and other areas would probably drop to entice people to drive/ park and in the end we would not have achieved much, except to be out the millions of dollars in fares

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ronron View Post
              ^ I haven't used Calgary transit downtown; is it as bad as what's described above with their free zone?
              It's hard to say. I didn't notice that much while I was there. But there are a couple of factors that keep it from getting really bad.

              For most of the day, for instance, the system is overwhelmingly used by business folks shuttling between the highrises and their offices (and lawyers travelling between office and court).

              Also, the ride isn't long enough to really hang out. Once you leave the zone, enforcement gets quite strict (more strict that I've noticed in Edmonton). You have to pay attention to see that you don't drift out of the zone. So you can't drop off to sleep and ride the rails like you can here.

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              • #8
                Could be my faded memory playing tricks on me but I seem to recall our LRT free zone was just in the DT core, Corona station to Central. Actually, "riding the rails" is getting harder these days due to the presence of extra security at stations. I can't speak to Metro but that's the way it is at Capital.
                Mom said I should not talk to cretins!

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                • #9
                  Grandin to Churchill.
                  A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.

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                  • #10
                    ^ yes, we only had free in the DT area ( cannot remember the exact stations though). Re the security at the stations. They do not prevent people from riding the rails for free. They are simply there to call ETS security if anything happens, they have absolutely no jurisdiction to do anything. Sometimes I have see drivers walk through the cars at CP, and if anybody is sleeping they ask them where they are going. In a few cases, they have radioed security in the DT area and if they are still on the train they get hauled off.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Medwards View Post
                      Grandin to Churchill.
                      I omitted Grandin because its not in the downtown core and was built in 1992. I think by that time the "ride for free underground" experiment was concluded.
                      Mom said I should not talk to cretins!

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                      • #12
                        no, the free ride thing went long than that. I was easily the late 90s or early 00's
                        A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.

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                        • #13
                          http://mirror.aclweb.org/hlt-naacl03/travel.html

                          It was still a thing in 2003, according to this blurb for conference attendees & was mentioned on the 2001 transit map:



                          Ended in 2004:

                          2004

                          New ETS transfers were introduced in February. The transfer now tells you when it expires. The time the transfer expires is now the time where it is torn.

                          The sixth annual Community Conference was hosted by ETS in March.

                          Route Schedule Search is available on the ETS website in the spring.

                          ETS launched new Trip Planner on http://www.takeets.com/ on June 21, 2004. Bus Stop Schedule Search is also launched.

                          Centre Free LRT is cancelled.
                          https://www.edmonton.ca/ets/ets-history-statistics.aspx
                          Last edited by noodle; 11-12-2019, 02:34 PM.
                          Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by noodle View Post
                            http://mirror.aclweb.org/hlt-naacl03/travel.html

                            It was still a thing in 2003, according to this blurb for conference attendees & was mentioned on the 2001 transit map:



                            Ended in 2004:



                            https://www.edmonton.ca/ets/ets-history-statistics.aspx
                            Would be nice to have that again but with ETS's annual operating budget at something ~$300m, every penny counts. And when ETS does their summer reboot, I'm expecting to see more increase in fare pricing for less service. Would be interesting to see ETS's new map when they roll out the new service.
                            Mom said I should not talk to cretins!

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