Kansas City is seven hours behind Luxembourg, but the US city. UU. And the small European country are synchronized on one issue: starting next year, public transport will be free in both places.
The largest city in Missouri earlier this month approved a plan to eliminate bus fares in 2020, making it the first major US metropolis. UU. In offering free public transport. The Kansas City tram is now free.
Kansas City officials estimate that the cost will be $ 9 million, or approximately what the transit system provides each year from bus fares and monthly passes. But they hope that by facilitating the displacement of the almost 500,000 residents of the city, the economic activity that finally pays the free pass will be promoted.
"I think people have the right to move around this city," said Eric Bunch, a district councilor who co-sponsored the measure along with Mayor Quinton Lucas, reportedly at a local radio station.
The Kansas City bus system serves about 44,000 passengers on a business day, according to its 2018 budget. Since only 1.2% of Kansas City residents travel to work on public transportation, it must be argued that having a Free bus system will not bring a dramatic change.
Still, public transport advocates in a variety of places, from the Bernie Sanders campaign to cities like Nashville and Toronto, applauded the passage from Kansas City to the free bus service as a means to curb road congestion, improve quality of air, combat climate change and address income inequality.
An aspiring leader in a city seen as politically progressive also took note. Sarah Iannarone, candidate for mayor in Portland, Oregon, tweeted that her city was "lapped by Kansas City."
Jeesh, Portland, can I still be mayor? Captain Progressivepants just made us go through Kansas City 🤦🏻♀️https: //t.co/4vUAhCG40X
– Sarah Iannarone (she / she) (@sarahforpdx) December 6, 2019
Getting rid of the bus and other transit fees is not a novel idea, but in general it is a concept that has not taken off, since much of the world's largest public transport systems depend at least in part on user payments to operate.
In New York, for example, the $ 4.5 billion received by the city's transit agency in annual fee revenues constitute half of its operating budget. Recently, the city has taken a very different tactic from Kansas City, increasing vigilance to combat rate evaders that traffic officials expect to cost $ 300 million this year.
The jury is also pending to determine whether abandoning rates makes a big difference in the way people move, according to TransitCenter, a group that advocates for sustainable transport. In reality, the elimination of rates has led to variable results.
In the French city of Dunkirk, with a population of 100,000 inhabitants, the number of passengers increased by 85% just after the introduction of duty-free transit, while in the capital of Estonia, Tallinn, the number of passengers increased by only one 3% in the five years since the transit became free, the group said in a blog post.
Almost 30 years ago. Austin, Texas, temporarily eliminated bus fares, but that resulted in "dramatic rates of vandalism, graffiti and agitation," as well as an increase in vehicle maintenance and safety costs due to rebel passenger repairs, according to a 2002 analysis.
A TransitCenter survey of 1,700 passengers in transit in seven US cities. UU. He discovered that low-income bus passengers care more about service improvements than reduced rates.
When trying to increase the number of passengers, transit agencies should ensure that they have enough income to increase the service in response to the new demand or run the risk of passengers staying out due to delays and overcrowding.
As a spokesperson for TransitCenter told Streetsblog: "If you reduce the barriers to accessing a system that doesn't do a great job connecting people where they need to go, it's just helping people a lot."
. (tagsToTranslate) missouri (t) fares (t) kansas city (t) free (t) bus (t) public transportation