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Even if you move for free when gasoline prices are high, it is unlikely that people will get out of the car

Analysis: A survey of passenger numbers in cities with free transportation found that it did not reduce car use.

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British Columbia’s Environment Minister has closed the doors of BC Green Pitch, freeing public transport for four months, freeing drivers from rising gas prices and reducing vehicle emissions.

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But does such a plan actually force people to abandon their cars in favor of buses and skytrains?

Evidence from cities around the world is outside the city center of British Columbia, especially if public transport options are limited, so free transport may not be enough to pull the driver away from the car Indicates that there is sex.

With gas prices rising to a record 233.9 cents per liter in Metro Vancouver, the two opposition parties are calling on the NDP government to do something to relieve the pain of the pump.

Last week, liberals said the state should be temporarily exempt from the 8.5-liter state’s petrol tax, under the leadership of Alberta.

The government has repeatedly excluded gas tax holidays, and on Tuesday Environment Minister George Hayman rejected the idea of ​​free shipping.

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“There are no plans to abolish fares at this time,” Hayman told reporters. He said the state and federal governments have spent $ 820 million over the past two years to keep fares low due to low passenger numbers during a pandemic and prevent transportation authorities from cutting routes.

Green leader Sonia Frustenau said he was disappointed that the government had already rejected the idea.

Monthly ticket prices range between $ 85 and $ 181, and Furstenau said free tickets could save up to $ 724 each for riders over the next four months.

Free-ridership must also involve spending on state-wide transportation infrastructure. “To ensure that people have access to alternatives to driving a car, especially in poorly serviced areas.”

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“We need to shape the future with affordable, accessible and reliable transportation options for people. To do that, (government) needs to invest in them.” She said.

TransLink, which serves Metro Vancouver, said such plans would be costly and ineffective in reducing car traffic.

TransLink spokeswoman Tina Lovgreen said it means losing $ 160 million in revenue in four months. This figure will be even higher if the BC Bus Pass Program for the low-income seniors and disabled and the BCU Pass Program for students are also suspended.

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For BC Transit, which serves communities outside Vancouver Island and Metro Vancouver, a four-month free fare will result in a loss of $ 20.8 million in revenue.

“Transit costs aren’t the main reason people choose transit over driving,” Lovgreen said. “The main drivers are convenience, frequency of service, and connection to the commute.”

In 2013, the Norwegian Institute for Transport Economy analyzed free transport schemes in cities across Europe. Free transit has been found to attract more people, mainly walking and cycling, while increasing the number of passengers.

“The impact on car traffic is small and usually offset … after years of traffic growth,” the report found.

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TransLink has not seen a surge in passenger numbers due to its high gas prices. Transit service passenger numbers in recent weeks have been around 70% of pre-pandemic levels.

“If gas prices soar, there is no doubt that we will see a higher-than-expected recovery,” says Lovgreen.

The BC branch of the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives is asking Translink in Metro Vancouver to offer free tickets to everyone under the age of 18 and to tie them to income.

Calgary has a sliding scale ticket. This means that the lowest-income resident pays $ 5.30 per month, according to a report by Markley, senior economist at CCPA. Halifax offers a low-income monthly pass for half the cost of a regular adult. Seattle has a discounted low-income pass, and in 2018 we also voted to offer a free bus pass to high school students.

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Alex Hemingway, another senior economist at CCPA’s BC office, needs to combine cheaper transportation with significantly improved services to successfully convince people to take a bus instead of driving. Said.

“At this point in time we know we are facing a very serious and urgent climate change crisis, we want to throw as much as we can into this issue,” Hemingway said. Said. “It’s probably one of the things we can do, both to increase public transport services and to reduce costs.”

When Farstenau asked Prime Minister John Horgan if the government would make transportation free during the question period on Monday, he said the government had already made public transportation free for children under the age of 12. ..

Hogan said the government is still looking for ways to expand BC’s public transport system to meet the state’s greenhouse gas emissions targets.

“You can’t snap your finger to do that,” he said. “We’ve been working since day one, and we’ll continue to work to lift everything, no matter where British Columbia lives.”

kderosa@postmedia.com


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Even if you move for free when gasoline prices are high, it is unlikely that people will get out of the car

Source link Even if you move for free when gasoline prices are high, it is unlikely that people will get out of the car

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