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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 09-16-2014, 08:14 AM
 
8,199 posts, read 6,128,930 times
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Nothing is "free". It will either need to be paid for 100% by taxes, a mixture of taxes and user fees or 100% by user fees. How and who pays for it is the essence of politics, but public transportation can never be free.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Deep In The Heart of Texas
1,606 posts, read 1,271,369 times
Reputation: 3026
I don't use the public transportation system either nor do I have kids in school so I suppose I shouldn't pay school taxes either? We all pay taxes for services we don't use and we all use services that other's don't use so what's the problem.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Hyrule
8,398 posts, read 9,889,935 times
Reputation: 7441
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
One benefit of free buses is it speeds up boarding time. Of course there are other ways to speed boarding up, but when you can pay cash at the front it can often slow things down a lot.
I'd rather pay through taxes and have it be free to board. It's quicker, and available even if you forget to bring payment or forgot to charge your card, etc. It cuts down on wasted time. Most people use the bus for work, and have little time as it is.

If not free then a system like S Korea or Japan has would be nice and more efficient. The bus and any mass transportation is social, and community driven. It should be treated as such. IMO, not much is personal about mass transit.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Trumbull/Danbury
6,541 posts, read 4,492,339 times
Reputation: 2477
I voted for it depends.

it depends on what kind of transportation and what area.

Obviously a commuter rail shouldn't be free, but a metrorail or a street car probably should be. A bus that runs through a low income/section 8 housing neighborhood I'd look into being free of charge as well.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Hyrule
8,398 posts, read 9,889,935 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7express View Post
I voted for it depends.

it depends on what kind of transportation and what area.

Obviously a commuter rail shouldn't be free, but a metrorail or a street car probably should be. A bus that runs through a low income/section 8 housing neighborhood I'd look into being free of charge as well.
I agree, that would help improve employment in low income areas where owning a car that runs well enough to be dependable is an issue. Free public transport would be a plus.
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Old 09-16-2014, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
2,975 posts, read 4,080,566 times
Reputation: 1208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murk View Post
People who do not drive are greatly benefited by roads though. Emergency vehicles travel on them, shipments come by truck to the stores where they shop, etc. Road use in one form or another is pretty necessary for the functioning of the modern world. Public transportation is not.
We can all agree that ALL cities and towns need road, but not all of them need public transportation. Well the thing is, roads work great...except when they don't.

Once the roads fill up with traffic congestion, public transportation becomes just as necessary for a city to function as the roads do. Just think about whether NYC, Chicago, and other large US cities could function AT THEIR CURRENT CAPACITY if all public transportation ceased. Nope, not gonna happen. They would have to dramatically un-densify to allow adequate space for all the cars. There goes our food- and ethanol- producing farmland. Plus the additional cost of providing the infrastructure to the massively sprawled out urban areas! And it is not only large mega-cities, but many medium sized US cities have reached this point--let alone major international cities that our economy here in the US depends on.

An analogy would be that we still need domestic flights and freight trains in the continental US to function AT OUR CURRENT CAPACITY even though we could get everywhere by car and truck--getting everywhere by vehicle has a distinct disadvantage, namely, a top speed that wouldn't cut it. In dense, modern, congested cities, mobility is limited by all the other cars on the road as well as parking limitations.

All those drivers in urban areas benefit by having big city amenities and jobs in close proximity that they easily can drive to, which simply would not exist without the public transportation system--if everyone had to take up road space and parking spots.

Last edited by hurricaneMan1992; 09-16-2014 at 03:12 PM..
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Old 09-16-2014, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
2,975 posts, read 4,080,566 times
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To be equitable: either make basic public transportation (busses and urban street cars) "free" at the point of use, or charge a fee for using basic roads at the point of use.

Charge for long-distance subways and commuter rails, but not busses and urban street cars and subways in "free fare" zones in the city. Either this, or charge by distance and/or a flat per-use fee for using public local roads.

In any case, transportation never pays for itself and always requires taxes to support (sorry, but even fuel taxes and tolls have never paid for *all* road expenses, in fact, their contributions relative to increasing costs has been declining for decades). It's human nature that you have more incentive to use something that you've "already paid for" through taxes, versus something you have to pay at the point of service every single time (never mind that you've already paid, say, 50-80% of the cost through taxes...). Roads would be less congested if people had to pay to use them every time. Transit ridership would be higher if it were "free" to board. In either case, the cost to run the system is the same and needs to come either entirely or partially from taxes.

Last edited by hurricaneMan1992; 09-16-2014 at 03:15 PM..
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Old 09-16-2014, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Cleveland
25 posts, read 25,783 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtab4994 View Post
Seriously though, you're not thinking or expressing yourself clearly. If you want to be an advocate of public transportation then don't go around telling everyone you're smarter than they are.

You as an advocate of public transportation should not be thinking in terms of "too bad if you live too far away", but rather "let's work to make public transportation available to everyone".
The only way to make it available to everyone is to extend service areas and rail lines. Some cities like Chicago have their rails go out so far that some of their stations are closer to Milwaukee than to downtown Chicago.
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Old 09-17-2014, 03:50 AM
 
12,299 posts, read 15,196,725 times
Reputation: 8108
No it should not. It would encourage a lot of unnecessary riding. Many transit systems are already straining at rush hour. Add all those joyriders and it gets even worse. True, it was tried for seniors in IL for a while, but those are less likely to abuse the privilege. The big problem with public transit is it doesn't go where you want. Let's work on that, and speeding it up, first.
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA
3,905 posts, read 3,584,424 times
Reputation: 7183
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClevelandskyMan View Post
The only way to make it available to everyone is to extend service areas and rail lines. Some cities like Chicago have their rails go out so far that some of their stations are closer to Milwaukee than to downtown Chicago.
Yep, same here in New York Metro area.

Look, if you want "no fare" public transportation, which would benefit people who live, work, and shop near it, then you have to exempt people who do not benefit, from the tax that supports it. So you have people in your urban areas paying higher taxes but riding trains, buses, and subways "for free".

Good luck with that.
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