Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Monday, July 15, 2019

Writer suggests fare-free public transit for Waterloo, ON region

What a ride.
In its first 11 days of operation, our new light-rail transit system carried almost 300,000 passengers.
It’s a phenomenal, applause-worthy achievement that surpassed initial ridership projections.

Of course, the service for those 11 days was also free. Which begs the question, if we can attract this many transit users during a brief period of free fares, shouldn’t public transport be fare-free all the time? 

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Ottawa Anti-racist organization calls for #freetransit

Monday, October 8, 2018

Writer advocates #freetransit to address #climate

Free public transit could combat both economic inequality and climate disturbances. And, if paid for by fees on automobility, fare-less transit could be part of a serious challenge to private, car-centred transit and urban planning.
But free transit should be promoted as an equality-based, short- to medium-term solution for mitigating the climate crisis. Kudos to Gebresellassi for pushing the issue to the forefront.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

What if no one had to pay for public transit?

Ottawa’s public transit system certainly has its share of shortcomings. But the biggest problem preventing an efficient transit system is that we have never thought of our public transit as a truly essential public service. 

Shawn Menard, a former senior staffer for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, is a candidate in Capital ward for Ottawa city council. Follow him at @Shawnmenard1 or

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Fare-free #publictransit suggested for London, Ontario.

...I would like to see if the city would be willing to consider a pilot project of one month of free transit during the summer to gauge the potential economic and societal impact (health) of offering the service for free in our city.
As most people know there are many benefits to be found by having people use transit:
1 – Better health outcomes –
2 – Reduced need for road widenings
3 – Reduced congestion as 1 bus can handle the same capacity as 30-60 cars (or more).
4 – Reduced need for road maintenance.
5 – Increased property values and business sales –
6 – Savings for families that opt to no longer have a second vehicle (or first)
7 – Increased mobility for those that cannot use other modes of transportation.
8 – Saves lives as transit is significantly safer than cars.
It would be good to present a full business case from London Transit listing the full benefits available to both the City and the Province/Country from investigating if free transit were to increase ridership to help mitigate costs and the other benefits of transit. I am recommending a summer month (I know that other months might give a more accurate picture) as we can more easily accommodate an increased passenger load during those months. I would also recommend that more than simple transit ridership metrics be gathered for this study. It may be worthwhile to have the city investigate funding from other levels of government to offset the cost of the pilot....