Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Is Public Transport a drain on cities?

Public Transport activists are often told by the local city administration/government that Public Transport is a big problem as it is a drain on the coffers of the city. "Public Transport loses money and the city can't afford to subsidize it beyond a certain extent.

A big lie, because profit and loss from public transport (transit) can't be worked out from fare (ticket ) collection alone. One must quantify the invisible benefits to the city from a well functioning public transport system. Add up the cost of air, soil and noise pollution on the city and health of its citizens, add up the cost of medication to treat respiratory diseases, hypertension, heart disease and even cancers directly or indirectly connected to automobile effluents. Add up the cost of never-ending road construction, flyovers, underpasses, accidents and stress of driving in congestion primarily caused by personal automobiles. Add to this the cost of building parking lots and other infrastructure for the automobile and you'll begin to see the real cost of automobile dominated city planning.

You will then see how much Public Transport users subsidize the city because public transport vehicles cause far less pollution, contribute far less to road congestion and accidents when compared to personal auto vehicles. If more people use public transit the city will be a much better place to live in.

But people won't get out of their personal auto vehicles unless public transit is economical and unless the city puts in place severe constraints (like expensive parking levies, congestion charging and creation of car-free areas). Free Public Transport can thus become an important step to move in this direction.

Sujit Patwardhan
Pune, India

Monday, November 7, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

gulfnews : Free Public Transport Day in Dubai hailed a success

Commuters opt for public buses at Satwa bus station. There was a huge increase in passengers on Public Transport Day in Dubai on Tuesday.
gulfnews : Free Public Transport Day in Dubai hailed a success: "Dubai: Free Public Transport Day marked on Tuesday saw a 34 per cent increase in the number of passengers as 693,221 people used public transport compared to 515,828 on the same day last year, a senior RTA official has revealed.
The figure is the highest number of people ever to use public transport in a single day in Dubai.
Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said the numbers using Dubai Metro, public buses and water buses on Free Public Transport Day fulfilled the purpose of the initiative and hailed it as a success."

'via Blog this'