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Would Free Public Transport Be Feasible- And Effective In Reducing Car Usage?

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Many (not all) car owners claim that the high cost to them of using public transport means they can easily justify owning a car and using that instead-the added convenience being a nice bonus.  

 

If the government is serious about wanting to reduce car usage to help save the planet, would providing free public transport- buses and trains- be the  most effective (and also fairest) way?

 

 

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37 minutes ago, lil-minx92 said:

Many (not all) car owners claim that the high cost to them of using public transport means they can easily justify owning a car and using that instead-the added convenience being a nice bonus.  

 

If the government is serious about wanting to reduce car usage to help save the planet, would providing free public transport- buses and trains- be the  most effective (and also fairest) way?

 

 

 No way is public transit costlier than car ownership and I don't care where you live. Convenience is the real reason people go to work by car, not cost. Trouble is,giant  traffic jams still don't deter some people.  Personally I wouldn't take a car into or anwhere near downtown Toronto for work or play, but many stlll do and some commute for hours rather that go by public transpot, yet we have highly efficient and inexpensive subway, bus and train routes, throubhout the Greater Toronto Area.

If cities want to get serious about it, reclaim the on street parking facilities and shut down parking lots. Trouble is they are all great big cash cows and as you know money will always be the most important factor.

Edited by Ontarian1981

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42 minutes ago, lil-minx92 said:

Many (not all) car owners claim that the high cost to them of using public transport means they can easily justify owning a car and using that instead-the added convenience being a nice bonus.  

 

If the government is serious about wanting to reduce car usage to help save the planet, would providing free public transport- buses and trains- be the  most effective (and also fairest) way?

 

 

I'd rather walk than use public transport. Trains are packed now, making them free would make it worse.

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There are genuinely lots of reasons why people won't use public transport - i don't think any of them are eradicated by making the journey free.

Over 65's get free transport and still take their cars shopping etc.

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I used the the bus last week and there was someone sat behind me coughing and sneezing, in the end I got up and moved further away.  A few days later I started with a cold.  

Best to avoid public transport if possible during the flu season.  

 

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I’d use it more if it was cheaper. I’d also like to see better train/bus/tram integration.

 

I don’t think that free travel is a good idea, as that would cause overcrowding. A well priced weekly ticket for all local transport might well get people to use it more. 

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2 hours ago, Pettytom said:

I’d use it more if it was cheaper. I’d also like to see better train/bus/tram integration.

 

I don’t think that free travel is a good idea, as that would cause overcrowding. A well priced weekly ticket for all local transport might well get people to use it more. 

Agreed, for the Mrs and I to go to the cinema at "the light", would cost us over £8 on the tram.  It's £5 tops to park in Wellington St carpark. 

 

On top of that there's the waiting round for the tram etc.. 

 

I'd gladly use public transport if it was a cheaper alternative. 

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It isn't a case of "Would it?"    The time has run out already. We MUST stop using cars and we MUST stop the acquisitive society which is clogging our roads with lorries and vans full of stuff which will be dumped and discarded with a few short years.

You don't have to ask "can it be done?".  It WAS done, very successfully before the 60s. In Sheffield we had trams that went within a short walking distance of most areas, buses that filled in the gaps and took us, along with frequent cheap train services, to our rambles in Derbyshire and our holidays in Bournemouth or Brid. We had bikes on roads that were safer.  Just look at the photos of "Old Sheffield" in the 50s. Castlegate and High Street thronged with people. No Meadowhell, no supermarkets. But we didn't starve,  We actually ENJOYED our weekend trips "down t' town".  Cinemas were full of families. Parks were full of mums and dads and kids.   We didn't have much money but we had A LIFE!  

Free public transport wouldn't actually cost that much compared with the £zillions squandered on car depreciation and running costs, road maintenance, costly traffic lights and air pollution.  Fewer people would die or be injured. The NHS would be relieved of a significant burden.  It is sad but it just won't happen.   Good dreams don't come true. 

 

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What we MUST do is make public transport cheaper first.  Make it an attractive option, and I'll jump ship and stop using the car. 

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2 hours ago, pearlt072 said:

What we MUST do is make public transport cheaper first.  Make it an attractive option, and I'll jump ship and stop using the car. 

Sheffield should go back to local government controlled public transport and get cost affective.I know ratepayers will be up in arms again, but even they should know that it makes sense today to get a lot of cars off the road,especially during the working week.

Here in Toronto all our transit services are controlled by local or provincial govts.and prices are reasonable and Toronto is ten times bigger than Sheffield both in population and area.

Sure , folks moan about taxes (rates)but as lots of them use the transit services themselves, the opposition is not really a major distraction.

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Agree again, public transport shouldn't be owned by private companies.  We were in LA last year, and got a bus from West Hollywood to santa Monica beach, cost about $3.  That's attractive. 

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15 hours ago, lil-minx92 said:

(...)

If the government is serious about wanting to reduce car usage to help save the planet, would providing free public transport- buses and trains- be the  most effective (and also fairest) way?

I'll tell you this time next year, as that is exactly why Luxembourg is making public transport (all of it: buses, tram, trains) permanently FoC from March 2020.

 

They're step-trialling it in advance, and made it fully FoC this whole week, as kids went back to school (start summer hols later, so they go back later, relative to many other countries).

 

Beside a fairly bad snarl last Tuesday evening, the empirical evidence is that it seems to work: roads have been surprisingly fluid morning and night. Not middle-of-summer fluid, for sure. But not first-week-back-to-school snarled, nor even average weekday-in-the-year congested.

 

Which is surprising, because as petrolheads go, Luxemburgers are way up there, I've long thought the government would need industrial-grade tin openers to prise them from their cars.

 

Of course, it's a lot easier to do, when the country is the size of Dorset, and can relatively easily afford it.

 

We use it all the time at weekends. Electric-hybrid buses run like swiss clocks every 15 mins and are cleaner than German hospitals. €2 for a 12 mile trip (incl. return if within 2 hours), multimodal (bus and/or train and/or tram). You can't run an park a car cheaper for that trip. Taxi for the same trip would be >€40 (big debate about taxi rates here, unsurprisingly...I mean, when they can afford to buy or lease and run Teslas P100 as taxis, you just know they're onto a better-than-good rate).

Edited by L00b

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