Monday, June 24, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Eliminate Bus Fares to Solve Traffic Woes?
By Panos Prevedouros PhD @ 7:22 PM :: 6903 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12

Free Bus?

by Panos Prevedouros PhD, FixOahu

That's a question that comes up often in public forums I attend. Why don't we make public transit like Honolulu's TheBus free?

The Transportation Research Board, a unit of the National Academy of Engineering has just released a report titled
Implementation and Outcomes of Fare-Free Transit Systems.

The quotes below help us conclude that tiny systems like the one on the Big Island are better of being free because it costs more to collect money than the money that will be actually collected. Large systems like Honolulu's can't be run for free. They will run out of funds quickly and they'll likely become movable homeless shelters. Recall that TheBus is cutting routes because it cannot afford its fuel bill. Actual ridership of free bus systems also showed that free bus does not translate into less traffic congestion because even at zero cost, too few motorists switch to the bus.

Here are the main findings of the report:

  1. No public transit system in the United States with more than 100 buses currently offers fare-free service. (Honolulu TheBus has over 550 buses.)
  2. The largest jurisdictions currently providing fare-free service are Indian River County, Florida, and the island of Hawaii, both with populations of approximately 175,000. (The free bus on the Big Island basically transports workers from Hilo to resorts in Kailua-Kona.)
  3. Fare-free public transit makes the most internal business sense for systems in which the percentage of farebox revenue to operating expenses is quite low. In such cases, the cost associated with collecting and accounting for fares and producing fare media is often close to, or exceeds, the amount of revenue that would be collected from passengers.
  4. Providing fare-free public transit service is virtually certain to result in significant ridership increases no matter where it is implemented. Ridership will usually increase from 20% to 60% in a matter of just a few months. (Note: It's worth exploring a low cost bus fare between the Waianae coast communities and the Kapolei transit center.)
  5. Some public transit systems that have experimented with or implemented a fare-free policy have been overwhelmed by the number of new passengers or been challenged by the presence of disruptive passengers, including loud teenagers and vagrants.
  6. Systems offering fare-free service in areas of higher potential demand for public transit need to be aware that increased ridership might also result in the need for additional maintenance, security, and possibly additional equipment to provide sufficient capacity and/or maintain schedules.
  7. A relatively small percentage of the additional trips (from 5% to 30%) were made by people switching from other motorized modes. Most new trips were made by people who would have otherwise walked or used a bicycle, or would not have made the trip if there was a fare to pay.

 

 

 

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii