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Thread: Free Public Transit (pilot programs start)

  1. #1

    Free Public Transit (pilot programs start)

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/public-tr...131906582.html

    LAWRENCE, Mass. — Dionisia Ramos gets on the 37 bus twice a day, rooting through her handbag to dig out the fare and drop it into the slot, so it came as shock several months ago when the bus driver reached out his hand to stop her.
    “You don’t have to pay,” he said. “It’s free for the next two years.”
    Ramos had never heard of anything like this: Someone was paying her bus fare? At 55, she lives on a monthly unemployment check for $235. So saving $2.40 a day, for her trip to and from community college, past the hulking mills of Lawrence’s industrial past — that meant something.
    Since a pilot program began in September, use of the buses has grown by 24%, and the only criticism Ramos has of the city’s experiment with fare-free transit is that it is not permanent.
    “Transportation should be free,” she said. “It’s a basic need. It’s not a luxury.”

    “When I heard the news I sat bolt upright and said, ‘That’s a good idea!’” said Howard Fain, a public-school teacher, who said he often saw people struggling to dig out coins on the 7 bus.
    “Even people who can afford to pay for dinner love a free buffet,” he said. “Open up a cash bar and see what happens. We can draw people to public transit because people like free.”

    “There’s no such thing as free,” Kane said. “Someone has to pay. Boston has the highest-paid bus drivers in the country. They’re not going to work for free. The fuelers, the mechanics — they’re not going to work for free.” Advocates of free transit have suggested that the cost could be offset by a gas tax increase; but replacing $109 million would mean raising the gas tax by 3 1/2 cents, Kane said. And all the while, he said, the system is straining to cope with the current demands.
    “I hate to be the guy who says, ‘eat your peas,’” he said. “But that’s where we are.”
    Proponents of the idea argue that Kane’s numbers are inflated and that the true replacement cost would be closer to $36 million. That gap, they say, could be covered by a 2-cent rise in the gas tax.


    Soon...everything will be "a need", "a public good", "a human right". This slippery slope will lead to the death spiral.
    Where is John Galt?


    When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? - Miguel de Cervantes, (Don Quixote)



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  3. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls' Revere View Post
    “There’s no such thing as free,” Kane said. “Someone has to pay. Boston has the highest-paid bus drivers in the country. They’re not going to work for free. The fuelers, the mechanics — they’re not going to work for free.” Advocates of free transit have suggested that the cost could be offset by a gas tax increase; but replacing $109 million would mean raising the gas tax by 3 1/2 cents, Kane said. And all the while, he said, the system is straining to cope with the current demands.
    I don't understand the problem here, just take out debt and pay for it that way? The boost to the economy would increase tax revenue, and the system would pay for itself. And if not, it's just debt, it's not like it costs anything.
    It's all about taking action and not being lazy. So you do the work, whether it's fitness or whatever. It's about getting up, motivating yourself and just doing it.
    - Kim Kardashian

    Donald Trump / Rand Paul (Vice Pres) 2016!!!!

  4. #3

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by TheTexan View Post
    I don't understand the problem here, just take out debt and pay for it that way? The boost to the economy would increase tax revenue, and the system would pay for itself. And if not, it's just debt, it's not like it costs anything.
    Debt is not free.
    Where is John Galt?


    When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? - Miguel de Cervantes, (Don Quixote)

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls' Revere View Post
    Debt is not free.
    Clearly you have a limited understanding of modern economic theory. Perhaps Zippy can fill you in.
    It's all about taking action and not being lazy. So you do the work, whether it's fitness or whatever. It's about getting up, motivating yourself and just doing it.
    - Kim Kardashian

    Donald Trump / Rand Paul (Vice Pres) 2016!!!!

  7. #6
    Lawrence already borrows something like 40% of its annual budget, why not give more away? What could go wrong?

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by TheTexan View Post
    Clearly you have a limited understanding of modern economic theory. Perhaps Zippy can fill you in.
    Yeah what bank does he borrow money from? I'd like to go there.
    Where is John Galt?


    When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? - Miguel de Cervantes, (Don Quixote)



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