Monday, March 2, 2020

Monday, February 17, 2020

#freepublictransit starts in June for Kansas City

Kansas City, Missouri, could become the first major city to eliminate bus fares in June under a proposal in the budget the City Council is expected to approve by the end of March.
Mayor Quinton Lucas said scrapping the $1.50 bus fare would be a windfall for working-class families that spend a good part of their incomes on transportation, and he believes it would benefit the city's economy, allowing people to move around more easily and patronize local businesses.
"Making transit free makes more job opportunities accessible for more people," Lucas said. "We're a car-based city, so if you don't have a car or bus fare, you don't get to where you need to be."
The city would lose $8 million a year on fare-free transit, but Lucas insisted that it would not be "a significant amount" of Kansas City's $1.7 billion budget. By not paying for maintaining and using a fare collection system, the city would save about $3 million a year, leaving Kansas City officials to come up with only $5 million to cover losses, Lucas said.
He said critics rarely ask where the money comes from for other projects, like the hundreds of millions of dollars spent each year on building and maintaining streets or the $325 million to renovate Arrowhead Stadium, where the Kansas City Chiefs play.
"That costs us and local government tens of millions of dollars a year," he said. "So I think the real question people have to ask is 'Do we care about the public?'" 

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Florida County to start #freepublictransit soon

This spring, Walton County residents and visitors will have a new way to get from the north end to the south.
Free public transportation in Walton County could start by spring 2020. (WJHG/WECP)
Free public transportation will take people from DeFuniak Springs to Santa Rosa Beach via Highway 331.
The buses will make stops at the Walton County Courthouse, Freeport Business Commons, and the South Walton annex. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Heroic Kansas City Mayor risks career to help poor and working class people

Lawmakers in Kansas City, Missouri took a "visionary step" on Thursday by unanimously voting to make public transportation in the city free of charge, setting the stage for it to be the first major U.S. city to have free public transit.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

"government subsidizes car users far more than it subsidizes transit users"

Morris said sometimes a group may consider taking MARTA to a sporting event or dinner downtown but realize with a large party driving and parking would be cheaper, incentivizing cars over transit. He also noted when you consider the costs of free-to-use streets — to build and maintain roads, police them, and manage signs and signals — the government subsidizes car users far more than it subsidizes transit users.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Miami-Dade transit fares provide only 1% of revenue

Suarez pointed out in his note that the cost to the county would be small: “Given the fact that total revenues from buses and Metrorail barely exceed $100 million, which is less than two percent of the operating budget for the county, the time has come to induce the use of mass transit by any and all means.” 
...Suarez has asked the county attorney’s office and the county transportation planning organization to study how both Kansas City and Salt Lake City approached the issue of free public transit. Two candidates in the Utah capital’s August mayoral primary pushed the idea of free citywide transit, and while the ultimate winner in the November runoff election pledged to work on improving the quality and frequency of service first, she has also proposed expansion of free transit to more local residents. Salt Lake City already has a fare-free zone in its downtown. 
Currently, 32 cities and towns in the United States operate free transit systems. All of them are significantly smaller than Salt Lake City, Kansas City or Miami-Dade County.

Yes, he said two percent. But that is "operating" cost. What about capital cost? Usually in big systems, operating and capital costs are about equal, meaning that fare account for on 1 percent of total costs.