Fareless Transit

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Fareless Transit
Posted by ORNHOO on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 12:37 AM
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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 6:55 AM

Check your web addresses.  I got a 404 error on one and no such address on the other.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 7:50 AM

Yes, same here.

But that being said, fareless transit?  Well that's fine, but it's still going to have to paid for in one way or another.  Gas tax?  City sales tax?  Luxury tax?  A hike in property taxes?  The money's going to have to come from somewhere.

There's no such thing as a free lunch.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 10:22 AM

Ditto public parks, libraries, the street system and lighting and traffic control and cleaning, sewege pipes, police, firemen, weather prediction, public schools, etc.

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Posted by divebardave on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 10:44 AM

The problem is that some people will just move in to the trains and buses and make it there living room or garbage dump.--paying something for it means that people will respect what they are getting--. matter of fact a small user fee for public libararys,parks and rail trails is being tried in some places.

 

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Posted by ORNHOO on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 12:43 PM

Flintlock76

Yes, same here.

But that being said, fareless transit?  Well that's fine, but it's still going to have to paid for in one way or another.  Gas tax?  City sales tax?  Luxury tax?  A hike in property taxes?  The money's going to have to come from somewhere.

There's no such thing as a free lunch.

 

I made an attempt to fix the links but no joy (shrug.) The exact same links were posted on Trainorders where they work.

(double shrug)

The thing that makes this conceivable is that in K.C. the farebox only supplies ~8% of the transit agency budget, your mileage may vary depending on the city you live in, as mentioned in the OPB radio piece.

 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 2:01 PM

Flintlock76
Yes, same here. But that being said, fareless transit?  Well that's fine, but it's still going to have to paid for in one way or another.  Gas tax?  City sales tax?  Luxury tax?  A hike in property taxes?  The money's going to have to come from somewhere. There's no such thing as a free lunch.

KC Street car is paid for by a special tax assessment via local businesses on each route of the street car.    Believe it or not they are happy to pay the tax as the street car has increased pedestrian traffic to their various businesses.    It's true those same businesses will probably raise prices and pass on the tax back to the customer.   KC streetcar had an annual surplus that accumulated and allowed them to buy more cars and increase frequency based on just the business taxation.    They really did not need to charge a fare for the streetcar but there was this desire to see how many people would ride with a fare vs for free.    I myself think it is better to keep it indirectly funded via local businesses.    Also, KC Street car gets revenue from advertising.    Similar to Milwaukee, if they charge a fare their advertising revenue increases as well since they can place ads at the self-serve ticketing kiosks.    So charging a fare also as ancillary revenue increases tied to it.

I think indirect taxing based on consumption is the future though.   People are getting sick of ever escalating taxes hitting their pocketbook directly with no ability to limit the increases (via reduction in consumption).     Why not also apply a tax like Norway does on minerals, gasses and fossil fuels extracted from the United States for export overseas.   Norway does and it has paid off Norways national debt as well as made a very hefty contribution to it's social  programs.    Though Norway feeds the taxes into a soverign wealth investment trust fund which compounds the return of the initial taxes (another smart move we don't do in the United States due to idealogical thresholds in one specific political party).

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 2:08 PM

So it's paid for already and everyone's happy with that?  That's cool, I didn't know how it was paid for to begin with.  Now I do.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 2:36 PM

Flintlock76
So it's paid for already and everyone's happy with that?  That's cool, I didn't know how it was paid for to begin with.  Now I do.

They were, not sure what the plans are on charging a fare.   

Milwaukee in contrast used some funds from the city budget to build and aquire the streetcars with no special tax.    They got the local Potowami Casino to underwrite $10 million a year to cover the fares and offered a free fare to the public like KC.    But in Milwaukee it was one business that paid for it instead of businesses along the route.    The Democratic National Convention wrote it into the convention agreement this next Summer that the streetcar would be free during their convention in Milwaukee.     So now the Mayor is offering a second year free of fares but is kind of opaque where that money is comming from.    Is there enough Casino money left over to cover it or is he dipping into city funds to subsidize the political convention?     Nobody is quite sure yet.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, December 19, 2019 10:02 AM

In a blatant political move, former Gov. Blagojevich ordered free fares for seniors on CTA for sure and possibly on the rest of the RTA.  The operating agencies complained heavily and the freebies were cancelled some time after he was impeached and removed, which came before his trial and conviction.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by 54light15 on Thursday, December 19, 2019 11:51 AM

There's talk of fare-free transit here in Toronto, but since the farebox covers 70% of the cost, it's not going to happen. I'm inclined to think also that homeless people will move in and camp out in the trains and streetcars. A fare of two bucks is affordable. 

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Posted by Gramp on Thursday, December 19, 2019 3:13 PM

Surprised they didn't make it a hotel tax. Seems that's often what happens. Try to get others to pay the bill. 

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Posted by NKP guy on Thursday, December 19, 2019 4:28 PM

   This may be an idea whose time has come.

   Ever since San Francisco's PCC cars began operating on Market Street, I have been riding them when I'm in town.  In my experience I find that almost no one pays a fare.  Either people have a pass of sorts or, as often happens, the farebox is "not working; just get in."  Then I think about the cable cars, whose fare in 1971 was 25 cents, and today it's seven dollars, or a second mortgage or something.  Somehow Muni makes it from one year to another and San Francisco continues to offer the most useful, frequent and fascinating public transit system in the country. 

   

 

 

 

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, December 20, 2019 7:00 AM

Basic fare on Muni was $2.25 in 2016, which is comparable to other cities.  Muni is a good operation, but the geographic compactness of the system is also a major asset.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by PJS1 on Sunday, December 22, 2019 7:53 AM

divebardave

The problem is that some people will just move in to the trains and buses and make it there living room or garbage dump.--paying something for it means that people will respect what they are getting--. 

Austin experimented with “fare free” public transit from October 1989 to December 1990. 
 
According to the National Center for Transportation Research, which included the Austin experience in its 2002 study ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF FARE-FREE TRANSIT POLICY, the fare free policy increased ridership, but most of the incremental riders were not the choice riders’ authorities were hoping would ditch their cars to decrease traffic congestion and air pollution.  Other unintended consequences included increased vandalism, graffiti, and rowdiness, especially by young passengers, which in turn increased vehicle maintenance and security costs.  Vagrants discouraged choice riders and caused increased complaints from long-time passengers.  Apparently the “free riders” discouraged many long-time regulars who sought other alternatives. 
 
The McKinney Avenue Trolley – McKinney Avenue Transit Authority - in Dallas has been free to the riders since 2002.  Initially, the cost of its operations was covered by the McKinney Avenue merchants.  Since 2002 it has been funded by DART and the Uptown Improvement District.   DART received a federal grant of $5 million in 2010 to complete the downtown loop for the trolley.  It receives approximately $5 million per year in Regional Toll Revenue for operating and other expenses.
 
The Dallas Streetcar, which runs from Union Station to the Bishop Arts District, is free to the riders.  It is owned by Dallas and operated by DART.  Dallas area taxpayers, along with the federal government and the North Central Texas Council of Governments, have contributed approximately $80 million for the Dallas Streetcar infrastructure and equipment.  The Streetcar receives approximately $15 million per year in Regional Toll Revenue for operating and other expenses. 
 
In FY18 DART’s passenger revenues – farebox recoveries – covered 11.8 percent of operating expenses.  So, free rides on the McKinney Avenue Trolley and Dallas Streetcar did not do much damage to DART’s revenue picture.   

Rio Grande Valley, CFI,CFII

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Posted by PJS1 on Sunday, December 22, 2019 10:51 AM

54light15
 There's talk of fare-free transit here in Toronto, but since the farebox covers 70% of the cost, it's not going to happen. 

That Is remarkable. 
 
DART’s farebox recovery of operating expenses before depreciation was 11.8 percent in FY18.
 
In FY17 farebox revenues were 8.4 percent of total revenues.  According to the American Public Transit Association, the industry average was 23 percent. 
 
Other revenues, which include advertising, rent and other, investment income, build America tax credit and other non-operating revenues, were 9.6 percent for DART compared to the industry average of 16 percent.
 
State and local operating assistance, which includes sales and use tax revenues, made up 73 percent of DARTS revenues in FY17 compared to an average of 44 percent for the industry. 

Rio Grande Valley, CFI,CFII

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Posted by divebardave on Sunday, December 22, 2019 8:07 PM

So we fight socialisim and communism for 50 years (Mcarthy,Nixon,Reagan) and now it is creeping into everyday life? A few years Universal Basic Income was a idea of the far left and to talk about it your peers would say that you smoked too much of the wacky weed. Now its front and center...and you want the goverment to pay for you to be carted all over town too? The problem with a welfare state is once you give the people what they want you could get away with anything as the people wont vote out or use the second admendment to remove the corrupt party in power because the prols dont want to lose there benifits

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kl39KHS07Xc

 

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Posted by 54light15 on Sunday, December 22, 2019 9:58 PM

PJS1 yeah we have the least subsidised transit system in North America if not the world. Politicians like to invest in highways (smile) but don't like to subsidise mass transit (frown.) 

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