Here’s an interesting read that I’d like to highlight. Aaron Renn’s blog, The Urbanophile, suggests an interesting concept for smaller cities that are trying to grow transit. Make them free. Well not exactly free but without fares. Renn states:
Why have a fare in the first place? It is odd that we pay per use on transit. We don’t pay to check books out of a library. We don’t pay to visit most city parks. We don’t pay when the police or fire department come to our house for a legitimate emergency. Most non-utility municipal services are provided for free to users and funded by taxes. So why is transit different? I suspect it is rooted in the origins of public transit systems when they were private, for-profit companies. But they aren’t that today so why adopt those legacy practices?
Read the rest of his post for some solid ideas supporting the use of fareless transit.
There’s actually nothing too radical suggested here as Chapel Hill has been fare-free for over eight years as well as downtown’s R-Line. This may or may not be something to consider as the transit section of the 2030 comprehensive plan is concerned.