Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wired Magazine - "The logic of free public transit is compelling"

The logic of free public transit is compelling: Despite the high costs and massive subsidies implicit in driving, forking over a relatively small fee to ride a bus or subway is a psychological barrier to getting people out of cars. Even the most efficiently run buses can be crowded and slow, but by running at frequent intervals on dedicated lanes between fixed stops — as the Circulator does — delays can be kept to a minimum. The bus might not stop next to, or even near, every rider’s point of origin or destination, but it ensures a measure of proximity for most riders. Rare indeed is the mass transit system that shoulders its own financial burden, and the free bus systems that last generally have dedicated sources of income aside from direct subsidies. Baltimore’s system is financed by a 16 percent tax on parking, which will raise about $5 million annually.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Metra fare increases are a step in the wrong direction

...the RTA's MagicCard which gives seniors free travel on the CTA, Metra and Pace all 24/7.
Despite efforts in Springfield to limit or eliminate this program last fall, it survives for all of us over 65. I'm a firm proponent of subsidized transit for everyone, paid for by much higher GAS TAXES. So rather than eliminate the MagicCard, I hope free subsidized transit someday becomes available for all, as a step toward combating Global Warming, the US's massive balance-of-trade deficit, the destruction of our urban neighborhoods, and the country's increasing class segregation and sprawl, all made possible by the car. Next month's fare increases are ridiculous wrong-way legislation. Comment by Clark on ChainLink discussion of Metra Fare increase

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Stop the subsidy, the system doesn't work

The autosprawl system just DOES NOT WORK. Let's face it. We have tried everything. Look at the Tri-State, we have filled in thousands of acres of farmland with cement and we still have gridlock and mayhem. Now we are trying traffic enforcement by camera. The money changing hands is just more out the pocket of the public to support the profits of the fossil-fuel and auto companies. Public money for private profit is subsidy. Let's put an end to it.
...For example, in Roselle where two cameras are up at Lake Street and Gary Avenue, nearly $298,900 in fines was collected over nine months. Of that, $117,333 went to the camera company, RedSpeed, according to information culled from Freedom of Information requests by the Daily Herald as part of its Seeing Red investigative series.... DailyHerald