Cashless Public Transit?

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Although there is no such thing as “free,” I like to encourage people to consider the concept of a cashless LTC. I have been promoting the idea for at least 20 years, despite the sad fact that most people are too selfish to support it.

If people are paying for something, they are more likely to use it. In recent years there has been a limited hybrid of the concept, where all Fanshawe and UWO students automatically pay a reduced price for a season’s pass through their tuition fees. By all accounts, it is popular and well-used by those students.

Economies of scale. How much money would be saved by dispensing with cash/ticket boxes on buses? By eliminating the downtown ticket sales office? By eliminating the cost of manufacture/ordering/administration of tickets and transfers? These are not rhetorical questions. I’ve had no luck getting answers from the LTC, but I’m not easily dissuaded when I believe in something.

By moving to a cashless system, improving service, and raising taxes to cover the cost, people would have a real incentive to get out of their private automobiles. Billions of dollars could be saved by markedly reducing the cost of roads expanison and maintenance.

The feds should be hard-pressed to financially support the idea, in light of their supposed support for Kyoto and their supposed concern for the environment. Because London’s public transit system is the worst of any comparably-sized community that I have ever been in, this would make an excellent test market.

Concurrently, substantial user fees should be levied by the municipality against those citizens who insist on operating their private automobiles. It isn’t rational for us to continue subsidizing citizen behavior which is so obviously destructive. The ever-increasing outward expansion to the ‘burbs and associated costs, undermining the financial viability of the city core and our older, more central neighbourhoods, is insane!

Links:
2002/08/11 – The Age: … get the public back into the transport system
2007/07/05 – The Tyee:
2007/07/10 – EcoStreet:

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