Opinion: Prioritizing Transit Improvement Over Free Fares Is Key

Opinion: Prioritizing Transit Improvement Over Free Fares Is Key

Opinion: Improving Transit More Important Than Free Fares

Summary :

Investments in high-quality transit service, along with income-based discounts, are a better way to increase ridership and help low-income riders than eliminating fares altogether, according to author Nicholas Dagen Bloom. Eliminating fares would require a revolution in transit funding and may not be sustainable or prioritized by the government. Income-based discounts, such as fair fare programs, offer a better model, with the additional revenue generated from increased ridership helping to build better service, attracting more riders and creating a virtuous circle of investment.

Description :

Investing more in high-quality transit service, combined with income-based discounts, could be a more effective way to increase ridership and support low-income riders, according to Nicholas Dagen Bloom, author of The Great American Transit Disaster. Writing in a piece republished on Route Fifty, he argues against eliminating transit fares and, instead, recommends focusing on improving the quality of service while also offering discounts to low-income users. Dagen Bloom suggests that, as ridership grows under programs like fair fare and fare integration, further revenue could be generated to fund better services and attract more passengers, helping make the case for deeper public investment.

Despite warning signs, public support for transit remains weak, with conservatives often showing little enthusiasm for the sector, Dagen Bloom suggests. He also warns that schemes to offer completely free transit without affecting agency budgets would require some sort of funding revolution. Instead, studies indicate that most riders would prefer cheaper, higher quality services rather than free substandard alternatives, he said.

1- melk360.com ,Opinion: Improving Transit More Important Than Free Fares ,2023-04-18 13:00:00
2- https://www.planetizen.com/news/2023/04/122672-opinion-improving-transit-more-important-free-fares?rand=493

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