Saturday, February 21, 2009

Chew On This: Free Transit?

Weekend Discussion Salon:

According to the latest TriMet Fact Sheet, available from, farebox revenues account for only slightly more than 20% of FY 08's total revenue.

Given than TriMet is cutting back routes as it is, wouldn't it be better if they rethought the route network, tried to find other funding sources, and fill that 20% with other money–making the buses free?

As long as we're going to have less service anyway, make it free and give the riders a break (I recall when a TriMet fare was 65 cents!).


1 comment:

  1. I recall the previous transit system (Rose City Transit) on which students rode for 15 cents. Damn, has it really been 50 years?

    Not sure if free rides are the absolute best way to go (got to admit the concept sounds good), but lower fares would probably entice more people to become regular riders. Maybe $20 for monthly passes and $100 for annual passes would be feasible.

    Higher taxes on motor fuels (private sector) are another possibility to help defray TriMet's operating expenses. Anything that encourages people to give up their cars and take up self-propelled or public transportation should be supported and applauded.

    Better transit systems, more and better pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, environmental degradation and peak oil will all contribute to making the private automobile a curious remnant of a bygone era instead of the norm.

    And more people than most people realize can live with that.