Monday, May 31, 2010

Should public transportation be free

by Paul Rance

From Helium website:

With free public transport, there would seem to be benefits from a green perspective, because you would assume that there would be less people on the road. But it would be a disastrous experiment if most people still continued to habitually use cars. However, it is an idea certainly worth considering, and the more one thinks about it then the lass fanciful the whole idea seems to be.

The gridlock in some of the major cities around the world could be alleviated by free public transport - as long as enough people used the service, and other car users didn't swarm into a city thinking not so many cars would be around! Judging how people will react to new things is never that easy, but anything free does tend to make the eyes light up of most people.

To make free public transport work, there would have to be a system in place which would make using public transport so much a better option than using a car. It's fair to suggest that people should normally have free choice, but it would be a good idea to bring in a free transport scheme for one day a week, and see how successful or not it was. Not allowing cars into a town or city for one day a week doesn't seem so Draconian a measure.

There would be better air quality with less cars on the road, and make a town or city a more healthy place to visit. It would be interesting to see if the cost of providing free public transport could be offset by the increase of shoppers to a town or city. A town or city without cars would appeal to many, though would some people from outside the area think of visiting these towns and cities by car?!

The idea of not so much traffic on the road would give most people a lift. No more frustrating traffic jams, nicer air to breathe, not having to wait several minutes to cross the road, no worries about your car being broken into, and no worries of struggling to pay for petrol. Less traffic would also have the little beneficial effect of making it easier for people to get to work on time.

Ways money could be raised to fund public buses and tube trains could really come indirectly, through the boost to local economies from tourists. Another idea could be encouraging local businesses to advertise on local buses or tube trains. It is something worth at least trying. It might actually work!

Learn more about this author, Paul Rance.

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