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View Poll Results: Should public transportation be free?
Yes 21 20.19%
No 69 66.35%
That depends on what form of transportation 14 13.46%
Voters: 104. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-18-2014, 02:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hurricaneMan1992 View Post
However, most US cities do not have transit systems that get this crowded, even on the trains at rush hour. (not being able to get a seat does not equate to crowded.)
I'd rather sit in traffic for an hour an thirty minutes than stand that long esp. after work.
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Old 09-18-2014, 02:51 PM
 
436 posts, read 325,170 times
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I'm going against the grain here (didn't read every page on it, but I did read several) and say that yes, it should be free. I don't think it's wrong if people use their time unwisely by going here and there with it. That should, in theory, be self-correcting. If too many people are cramming onto the buses or whatnot, then it will become unappealing to casually hop on board for no reason. Plus, with the smart technology they have now, they could make it so that transportation takes place efficiently, catering to crowds etc.

I think that private transportation is a privilege, not a right. Public transportation is a right. People need to get places. It'd be ideal if they could use their own feet to get there, but since we don't live in small villages anymore, I think they should have public transport. Heck, aren't ROADS themselves a primitive form of public transportation? There are toll roads, but not all of them are. (Never mind what Maryland is trying to do with charging people per mile they drive...)

I think Walt Disney had it right. Feet, bicycles, PeopleMovers for very short distances, monorails for in-between distances, and I would think high-speed trains to connect further city centers. And then if you need private transportation to get from A - B more efficiently, quickly, and comfortably - pay your own way.

Will it ever happen? HA. Doubt it. But I like to dream.
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Old 09-18-2014, 02:57 PM
 
436 posts, read 325,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
I'd rather sit in traffic for an hour an thirty minutes than stand that long esp. after work.
I wouldn't, but that's just me. There's ways of making improvements on that - staggering work shifts, using smart tech to bring about more transportation in the busiest times, and improving the overall wait experience for people. Plus I would be happy to listen to an audiobook or even read a book without having to worry about wasting gas, maintaining my attention so as not to crash, etc.

I would say that there are times when public transportation is inconvenient as heck. Bad weather (not much to do about that, unless you were specifically able to make weather-free corridors and waiting areas), bad security during certain times and isolated stops, (increasing blue-light security might be an answer), having young kids and/or a disabilities that make it inconvenient or painful to travel (in these cases, private transport is an awesome idea), and bringing home shopping. (Smaller convenience stores people can walk to frequently, and/or an increase in home delivery services could be the answer here.)

But yeah... plus it's healthy to move around some. When you're taking public transportation it's not like you're JUST standing there for that long in one place. You're moving around, plus you get used to it. It's healthier, in the long run, than sitting for a long time...
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Old 09-18-2014, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,699 posts, read 23,651,778 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I don't have hostility towards non-drivers. I do have issues with the non-drivers (and some who say, 'but, but, but, I have a car too, I just don't use it "unnecessarily") who are hostile towards drivers. Look at how many threads there are about cars causing all sorts of evils.

I know what you mean about taxes. I've seldom needed the services of the police, and never of the fire department, yet I pay taxes for both.
I am glad you are not down on all non drivers as some are. I am also not down on all drivers either.

The only time as a non driver I feel hostile to drivers is when they block the crosswalk trying to make a right hand turn on a red light when I am trying to cross the street or something of that nature.

Back on topic, I wonder how many people who take public transportation, especially as their only means of transportation said it should be free.
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Old 09-18-2014, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Northville, MI
11,882 posts, read 11,156,765 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post

Back on topic, I wonder how many people who take public transportation, especially as their only means of transportation said it should be free.
Me . I have only driven once in the last month and most of my wants are accessible by walk or public transit. Back in CNJ, it was a mix of car and public transit. But I don't think it should be free. I don't want bums at my feet while coming back home at night.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Inland FL
1,246 posts, read 716,998 times
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Nothing is "free".
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Old 09-20-2014, 07:54 PM
 
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In regions with rotten public transportation (only buses, don't go many places, slow speed, rundown buses) fares must be charged or its enemies will charge it is so horrible you can't give it away.
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:41 PM
 
33,046 posts, read 22,039,041 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millerm277 View Post
I'm inclined to say no. Free has a special meaning in the human brain and makes us make inefficient decisions, because we want to take advantage of free and we're terrible at quantifying the costs of our time and the like.

It encourages what's basically inefficient use of the system, using it for extremely short trips, people who don't value their time taking it on unnecessary trips all the way across the city, etc.

Even a small cost fixes that perception issue. And that's what I think local public transit largely should cost. $1-3 doesn't come close to 100% farebox recovery anywhere, but it keeps people using it intelligently. And ideally that cost is somewhat in-line with the incremental operating costs of rising ridership. That helps keep it from being as much of a fiscal target for politicians, IMO.

Commuter Rail I think should be a larger charge. Subsidizing people who chose to live far from work is not the same as providing the basic public service that local public transport provides, and other use of it is the same, a luxury as opposed to something done for basic daily needs.

Obviously, in the real world we wind up with lots of grey area. Someone living in Far Rockaway can ride out to the Bronx on a subway fare. A distance based system with a small minimum charge is probably ideal for encouraging appropriate use, but that winds up being a mess to calculate (as anyone who's visited DC can agree).

-------------------

If you're interested in how we think about "Free" and behaviors of ours in general, I'd suggest some of Dan Ariely's books for something readable yet informative. Predictably Irrational is the one that covers "Free" as one of it's topics.

Are you sure about that? It was not always the case; in the 1960s-70s TWO fares were required to complete the Bronx <--> Far Rockaway trip.
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Old 09-24-2014, 05:10 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,983 posts, read 41,929,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freemkt View Post
Are you sure about that? It was not always the case; in the 1960s-70s TWO fares were required to complete the Bronx <--> Far Rockaway trip.
Yes, the two fare system in NYC hasn't existed for a while.
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Old 09-24-2014, 05:30 AM
 
Location: SC
8,791 posts, read 5,649,808 times
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Everyone knows that public transportation is subsidized by taxpayers, but then, so is every other form of transportation.

So the question really is...

Is public transportation adequately subsidized for our collective goals. In towns where pollution and congestion are huge problems, i would say that public transportation should be free or as close to as possible - especially along those routes that relieve the most traffic. This is for the good of all.

In places where pollution and congestion are not an issue, the riders should bear the heaviest cost.
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