Our contemporary financial approach to moving people around a city subsidizes individual automobile use, which leads to more car use and worse mobility for everyone. An easy solution to this problem that’s gaining popularity is to change what mode of transportation get subsidies. The most direct way to stop subsidizing cars is to make public transit truly public by not directly charging for it (and instead charge selfish transport solutions).
We’ve previously looked at how free transit also improves the economy (unlike cars).
The fare-free movement turns that funding model on its head. Advocates believe public transit, like other essential services, should have never been a user-pay system in the first place. After all, we aren’t charged a fee to drive down a city street, walk down a city sidewalk or sit in a city park. Our property taxes pay for those basic amenities.
As Montreal urban planner and social economy expert Jason Price, co-editor of the 2018 book Free Public Transit wrote: “We don’t pay for elevators, do we? And rightly so. The very idea is preposterous. Yet the public transit system plays the same role in the city, only sideways.”
Thanks to Mike!