Toronto Star: "What’s the big idea: What if public transit in Toronto was free? “Big Ideas” are always met by naysayers with “It can’t be done.” However it has been done and is being done. The city of Hasselt in Belgium is but one example. Transit fares were abolished in 1997 and ridership was more than 10 times higher by 2006.
How will the big idea work: Benefits: Faster boarding and exiting; low-income people are the primary benefactors; road traffic is greatly reduced benefiting drivers as well; air and noise pollution are reduced; fare-collecting costs eliminated."