Despite its tremendous value and egalitarian mission, public transportation remains the only essential public service that charges a fare. The only reason we still collect fares is because we always have, ever since the early days of horse-car transit. Now, user fees make up only a small portion of total revenue yet create a significant barrier to people of all incomes and lifestyles, slow down transit and cost millions to collect -- all without any justification.
I explain why cities and towns everywhere should provide free transit services and debunk the five main arguments for the status quo.
Note: I have come to these "radical" ideas throughout my years of transit service planning and advocacy. Please listen to the episode before sending me hate mail. Thanks! But please do send me your thoughts and I will gladly share them (anonymously if you'd like).
Riders seen waiting in line pay, regardless of weather. Buses spend up to 30% of their travel time waiting to collect fares, depending on the volume of passengers.
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