free transit

Podcast 51.2: Free Transit follow-up with listener feedback (Fixed Missing Audio)

Here is some listener feedback on free transit. First I chat with transportation activist Eli Damon from Northampton, MA, who wrote in about free transit and also shares some insight into the transit environment in Western Massachusetts. Then I read a listener email.

UPDATE: Corrected version. The previous file was missing the interview due to an editing error. If you downloaded the show in the first few days, try this one instead. Hopefully the repost will make it appear in iTunes again. Thanks to listener Dan for pointing out the error.

Podcast 51: The Case for FREE Public Transit Everywhere

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.

Comments? Suggestions? Please visit or email Follow me Twitter @CriticalTransit and follow and support my work in Boston via Your support goes a long way!

Podcast 47: urban planning, transportation, environment and social justice with Nick Pendergrast

Critical Transit resumes with Nick Pendergrast, sociologist, one-time urban planner and co-host of Progressive Podcast Australia. Nick is a lecturer in Sociology and Anthropology at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia.

We talk about transportation and urban design, housing, demographics, social and environmental justice, related structural issues, and the importance of connecting public transit and urban planning with other progressive issues. Also, how we might go about solving the housing and transportation crises in our cities, and dealing with anti-development NIMBY types and people fearful of gentrification.

A few links from today's show: Becca Bor (clip on the history and structural issues around car-free transport); animal-only bridges in Germany; Beeliar Wetlands and Roe Highway Development (facebook); and why electric vehicles won’t solve the suburbs' transport woes (covered on Critical Transit episode 38, and we'll revisit this issue soon in the context of self-driving cars). 

Listen also to my interview on episode 114 of Progressive Podcast Australia.

Follow me and my work on Twitter, Facebook and through my local organization TransitMatters.

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