...But there is also some good news. A small but growing number of transit agencies and universities have joined forces to offer a new program that provides fare-free transit for more than a million people. This program is generically known as Unlimited Access, and it has spread rapidly during the past decade.3 Unlimited Access programs do not provide free transit; instead, they are a new way to pay for transit. The university pays the transit agency, and all eligible members of the university community ride free. The rapid spread of Unlimited Access suggests that it meets a market test: universities are willing to pay for it...
The substantial mode shifts caused by BruinGO refute the common assumption that fare-free transit cannot entice commuters from their cars. Transit ridership for commuting to campus increased by 56 percent during BruinGO’s first year, and solo driving fell by 20 percent. Because these startling results were achieved in a city famous for its addiction to cars, they suggest that Unlimited Access can work almost anywhere. If Unlimited Access can produce so many benefits for students, universities, and transit agencies at sucha low cost, why don’t more universities offer it? More universities are offering it every year, and it is also spreading to other settings. Six transit agencies in the United States offer Eco Pass programs that allow all employers to purchase transit passes for all their employees at a heavily discounted fare. A few transit agencies have even taken the idea beyond the workplace. In Seattle, the transit system has arranged for game tickets to serve as transit passes on game days at the University of Washington football stadium. In Silicon Valley, the transit system allows residential developments to buy Eco Passes for all residents. Unlimited Access programs contribute to so many important planning goals: transportation demand management, smart growth, transit-oriented development, energy conservation, clean air, and sustainable cities. Few transportation planning reforms produce suchlarge benefits at suchlow cost and have so much potential for growth.
Fare-Free Public Transit at Universities: An Evaluation
The online version of this article can be found at:
On behalf of:
Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning
Friday, November 26, 2010
Los Angeles Mass Transit Is Expanding - NYTimes.com: "LOS ANGELES — This auto-obsessed city — a place where people love their cars almost as much as they hate the traffic — has embarked on the biggest expansion of its mass transit system in decades, an effort to change the way people navigate its sprawling and clogged streets and freeways."
at 9:14 AM
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
lessons from a car-free life | zen habits: "3. Convenience. Sure, buses can be inconvenient — sometimes they’re late and you wait and you’re late. But think about the inconveniences of cars we often forget: parking, getting stuck in traffic, getting cut off from other people, paying tolls, paying for parking, parking tickets, speeding tickets, cars breaking down in the highway, car repairs, oil changes, stopping for gas, car insurance, washing the car, the dangers of car accidents (car crashes are the leading killer of American children), the unhealthiness of it for your kids, making a wrong turn and trying to get back on your route, the expense of a car and having to work more just to pay for it, the cost of health care because cars are unhealthier for you and your family and having to work more just to pay for that, just to name a few."
at 1:07 AM
Monday, November 15, 2010
Rapa Nui Motors - Death by Car
"On Easter Island, as the rats they brought with them and came to rely on as a supplementary food source ate up the seeds of the big palm trees they needed to make seaworthy long-distance fishing/travel/escape canoes, what did the Rapanui people do? Under the sway of their priestly overclass, who naturally insisted that bigger and better appeals to the gods (and, of course, further expansion of the practices and prerogatives of their Earthly messengers) was the only reasonable answer to any and all crises, they made more and bigger moai._____"
In the United States of America and the rest of the “advanced” corporate capitalist nation-states, as the ornate and allegedly magical “self-movers” they bought to achieve mobility started to burn away the second half of the planet’s petroleum supply, the great entrepreneurs insisted that the path to survival and renewal was building further, still-more-intricate-and-expensive implementations of these 3,000-plus-pound objects, by means of which each micro-pod of commoners fetched food, got to workplaces, and attended what remained of in-person social occasions (all, of course, while further glorifying and enriching the entrepreneurial class that pushed and provided the “freedom machines”).
at 4:53 PM
Friday, November 12, 2010
Climate Change Will Lead to Increased Wildfires | Global Warming is Real: "Two research scientists from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies have recently concluded a study showing that climate change could likely become the principal driver for future wildfires if current CO2 levels continue to rise unabated.
Since the start of the industrial revolution, human activity – such as setting and suppressing wildfires – has been a primary driver in wildfire trends. Using new techniques to track fires, researchers Olga Pechony and Drew Shindell have developed the first long-term history of global wildfire patterns and trends. Using the historical information and satellite data, the team has forecasted fire trends to 2100, based on current and expected levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.
The study finds that without significant reductions of carbon, climate change will become the principal driver of wildfires in the coming decades, with rising temperatures and drought leading to a propensity of more intense and frequent fires...."
at 4:29 PM
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Improve business through free public transportation: "Burbank used to have a system that the Burbank Blue Bus would take people from the North Hollywood stations to various points in Burbank. It was convenient, economically efficient, and ecological efficient. This was a free route that was a huge incentive in attracting employees to Burbank companies and new companies to Burbank. Providing free public transportation (or at least strategic routes with no cost) is something no other city in the area does and is a huge plus for companies and employees."
at 9:47 AM