Make bus service free [New Urbanism Blog]
It’s true. Nothing is ever free. But my proposition is that the basic city bus service that so many places fund would be better off as a basic municipal service, like fire or police. Fund it through a dedicated tax of some kind – sales, property, etc, and don’t bother to charge for the ride itself. Allow me to elaborate.
The bike whisperer [RedEye Chicago]
The wheels of change are in motion for city cyclists thanks to new initiatives from [Chicago] Mayor Emanuel. In the works are 100 miles of protected bike lanes, increased bike parking and a widespread bike-share program that could put Chicago on the map as one of the nation’s most bike-friendly cities.
Enter Gabe Klein, the city’s Department of Transportation commissioner, who took office this year.
The Death of the Fringe Suburb [The New York Times]
By now, nearly five years after the housing crash, most Americans understand that a mortgage meltdown was the catalyst for the Great Recession, facilitated by underregulation of finance and reckless risk-taking. Less understood is the divergence between center cities and inner-ring suburbs on one hand, and the suburban fringe on the other.
It was predominantly the collapse of the car-dependent suburban fringe that caused the mortgage collapse.
Bad US Rail Practices and What It Means for FRA Regulations by Alon Levy [Urbanophile]
As I alluded to in the last few posts, although the FRA is the primary obstacle to a passenger rail revival, the old railroader traditions it reinforces are still strong in the commuter railroads. At some, for example the MBTA and the New York-area railroads, practices are even worse in terms of cost and performance than required by the FRA.
Floating path on London’s Thames gets nod [Reuters]
Plans to erect a floating walkway on London’s River Thames, affording spectacular views of forgotten parts of the city, got a major boost on Friday by securing up to 60 million pounds ($97.5 million) in funding.
Perhaps a more modest version could work in Providence. Giving access to the waterfront in areas less accessible to the public, such as near the power station.
See also: The city that floats [Salon]
Another benefit of fare free bus and transit in general is that the driver doesn’t have to double as a security guard confronting people who don’t pay. Man I am a huge supporter of fare free transit and would love to see more of this sort of thing becoming the norm.
Also I don’t buy the whole people won’t value it if they don’t have to pay for it. I don’t see people complaining about driving on toll less roads or free parking. Just have to make the product FEEL like it has value. I really love the idea of putting art on the vehicles. I’ve seen some buses, trains and stations in other countries that are designed to look beautiful or fun and colorful. Simple things like that would add value and would probably help get rid of the whole “haha poor people and losers” stigma public transit has, and if a fun looking bus was free to ride, comfortable and reliable? Forget about it, ridership would skyrocket.