Article

Implementation and outcomes of fare-free transit systems

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Abstract

The purpose of this synthesis was to document the past and current experiences of public transit agencies that have planned, implemented, and operated fare-free transit systems. The report concentrates on public transit agencies that are either direct recipients or sub-recipients of federal transit grants and provide fare-free service to everyone in their service area on every mode they provide. The report will be of interest to transit managers and staffs, small urban and rural areas, university, and resort communities, as well as stakeholders and policy makers at all levels who would be interested in knowing the social benefits and macro impacts of providing affordable mobility through fare-free public transit. A review of the relevant literature was conducted for this effort. Reports provide statistics on changes in levels of ridership associated with fare-free service. White papers or agency reports identified by the topic panel or discovered through interviews with fare-free transit managers were also reviewed. Through topic panel input, Internet searches, listserv communications, and APTA and TRB sources, the first comprehensive listing of public transit agencies that provide fare-free service in the United States was identified. A selected survey of these identified public transit agencies yielded an 82% response rate (32/39). The report offers a look at policy and administrative issues through survey responses. Five case studies, achieved through interviews, represent the three types of communities that were found to be most likely to adopt a fare-free policy: rural and small urban, university dominated, and resort communities.

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... 45 Studies have shown that fare-free transit significantly increases ridership by 20% to 60% in just a few months. 46 Kansas City was the first major city to incrementally implement free public transit in 2019. 47,48 In 2021, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority unanimously voted for a sustainable financial plan for a pilot project proposal for students and low-income people to ride Metro trains and buses for free. ...
... The elimination of fare collection/enforcement may sufficiently offset the loss of revenue for smaller transit systems. 46 Kansas City has been able to fund free fares through the city budget, public-private partnerships, and federal funding. 52,53 Fare-free advocates in Seattle are pushing for larger employers to subsidize transit passes for their workers and for the city, county, and state to assist smaller employers without creating financial burdens. ...
... 54 Concerns about fare-free public transit systems include the impacts of increased disruptive passengers that might negatively influence ridership. 46 However, most managers of fare-free transit systems have not reported disruptive passengers as a significant problem compared with fare collection and fare disputes. 46 Some policy recommendations suggest working with local law enforcement and local courts for handling disruptive passengers. ...
Article
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Mobility is an often overlooked social determinant of health that broadly affects people of color's health. This study aimed to examine personal and community mobility challenges and opportunities among youth of color and partner to advance equitable community mobility. We conducted a community-based participatory research photovoice study using mobility justice principles from November 2020 to May 2021 with 10 youth of color from South Seattle, Washington. We conducted thematic content analysis of verbatim transcripts. Youth recommended infrastructure changes and free transit to facilitate safe, accessible mobility. Youth reported feeling vulnerable riding public transit alongside people experiencing mental health issues, while recognizing the dangers police can bring to people with mental health challenges and/or communities of color. They emphasized the importance of youth voice and intergenerational community discussions to inform policy making. We coorganized an online forum with youth to exchange ideas for advancing equitable mobility with their community and city leaders. Youth expressed feeling empowered and deepening dedication to mobility justice. Leaders should implement policy and infrastructure changes to enhance equitable mobility by incorporating youth and mobility justice principles in decision-making processes, pay youth for their time, employ facilitators of color, and offer technology support.
... There is, however, no sufficient empirical data to support the existence of such a pattern to a satisfactory degree. The models and analyses of previous cases of FFPT implementation point to a possible increase in job opportunities by 20%-60% [33,37]. ...
... It needs to be highlighted that the vast majority of the substitution effects were due to shift from soft modes-around 30%-40% from biking and around 35%-50% from walking [38]. This leads to the conclusion that the increase in public transport share took place within the segment of sustainable travel, in accordance with the results anticipated by [37]. The share of car travel decreased by 5%; however, the average distance travelled by car increased [38]. ...
... Trial FFPT implementation in cities of over 50,000 inhabitants in the USA and Canada increased the demand by 30%-60%. Salt Lake City saw an increase in demand of only 13% and was an exception [37]. ...
Article
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In recent years fare-free public transport (FFPT) found itself at the centre of attention of various groups, such as economists, transport engineers and local authorities, as well as those responsible for the organisation of urban transport. The FFPT is hoped to be the answer to contemporary transport-related problems within cities, problems which largely result from insensible proportions between trips carried out via personal mode of transportation and those completed by the means of public transport. This article reviews the motives and effects connected with the introduction to date of fare-free transport zones across the globe. It also presents, using data obtained in market research, the actual impact of a selective extension of the entitlement to free fares on the demand for urban transport services. The effects observed in other urban transport systems were then compared against those observed in relation to one, examined system. Analyses of observed FFPT implementation effects were then used to establish good and bad practices in the introduction of FFPT. The article also contains forecasts on the effect of the extension of entitlement to free fares and an increase in the public transport offer may have on the volume of demand for such services. The analyses have shown that an increase in the public transport offer (understood as an increase in the volume of vehicle-kilometres) would increase the demand for urban transport services more than the selective implementation of FFPT (assuming that the costs incurred by the local authorities remain unchanged).
... An increase of 9 % in ridership was retained after the experiment was terminated. The experiment was also subject to some complaints by the bus operators, who reported problems with disruptive passengers and onboard crowdedness (Volinski 2012). ...
... Such services are often shuttle or feeder (e.g., airport, park and ride), inter-campus (e.g., university, technology park) or tailored for tourists (e.g., ski-resorts, old city). In a comprehensive review, Volinski (2012) identified 39 agencies that offer FFPT in the United States to all passengers on some of their services. He found that all of them operate small-scale fleets (less than 100 vehicles) in university, resort or rural communities. ...
... After the implementation of FFPT, the ridership increased by 43 % during 9 months period. This was introduced simultaneously with an increase in service supply (Volinski 2012). ...
... Nonetheless, few studies have attempted to provide a coherent introduction to FFPT (Cats et al. 2016), and detailed analyses of fare abolition have only focused on specific regions or countries (Briche and Huré 2017;Cordier 2007;Volinski 2012). There exists no comprehensive overview of contemporary FFPT policiesapparently disregarded by a large share of transport scholars, and rarely the subject of academic inquiry, FFPT remains insufficiently researched. ...
... In other words, one of the main reasons why transport authorities do not want reducing fares to zero is because they see FFPT as eradicating fundamental financial incentive for PT operators (Duhamel 2004), and leading to symbolic devaluation of transport service in the eyes of its passengers-clients. In turn, the weakening of the relationship between the network and its users supposedly increases the amount of 'problem riders' and resultant vandalism (Cordier 2007;Volinski 2012). ...
... Since fares are meant to function as a demand management mechanism that prevents short or marginal trips and controls passenger behaviour, abolishing them supposedly leads to irrational and irregular use of PT network, and results in more "non-productive trips" (Cats et al. 2014) that do not derive from actual mobility needs. Referring to the Simpson-Curtin rule that describes price elasticity (the relationship between PT fare price and ridership), (Volinski 2012, 2) explains that a 10% fare reduction can be expected to produce a 3% increase of ridership. Reducing fares to zero should therefore lead to 30% increase of passenger volumes, and "is virtually certain to result in significant ridership increases no matter where it is implemented". ...
... Významnější pozornost je mu věnována ale až od 70. let (Volinski 2012, Hodge 1994. ...
... Spolu s odstraněním jízdného dále dojde především k eliminaci příjmů, které z jízdného plynou do rozpočtu dopravních společností (Hodge 1994). Zastánci principu bezplatné městské hromadné dopravy ale uvádějí, že spolu s odstraněním jízdného zároveň dojde k úspoře finančních prostředků, které sou obecně na jízdné vynaloženy a v některých případech mohou právě tyto náklady převyšovat příjmy z jízdného, což se týká především malých měst (Hodge 1994, Volinski 2012 (Tetřevová 2008, s. 75). V případě MHD je její spotřeba zatížena sazbou ve formě jízdného. ...
... Za hraniční druh modelu bezplatné městské hromadné dopravy můžeme zařadit i takové specifické druhy, jako je bezplatná veřejná doprava během zvláštních příležitostí, jako jsou například volby, Nový rok, nebo také během dní se zvýšeným ozonovým zářením (Volinski 2012 ...
Thesis
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The concept of FFTP represents one of the tools utilized by cities in order to solve transportation problems in urban areas or to upgrade the general welfare of citizens living in this environment. The main aim of this bachelor thesis is to, based on a study of literature, introduce the concept of FFTP, its various goals to be fulfilled, the wide scale of its forms and also to evaluate its ability to reach the set goals. The case study of the city Frýdek – Místek analyses impacts of the FFTP concept on the city environment. It appears that the FFTP concept represents a useful tool, which is able to improve the use of public transport, its effectiveness or the mobility of citizens. The concept also enables reduction of use of cars and its negative impacts. It is also important to mention that the concept represents only one single tool out of many, the implementation of which it is possible to follow the effects and therefore it is necessary to support its effectiveness with other sub - elements or tools.
... Moreover, scholars and practitioners who perceive mobility problems through the question of "sustainable" development (Kębłowski and Bassens 2018) point out the weakness of FFPT in terms of generating a modal shift from private vehicles to PT (Cats et al. 2014(Cats et al. , 2017Cervero 1990;Fearnley 2013). On the other hand, albeit much less prominently, a number of arguments in favour of FFPT have been raised by academics working in the field of transport and mobility (Briche et al. 2017a;b;Volinski 2012), as well as outside it-most notably by political scientists (Ariès 2011;Larrabure 2016), urbanists (Brown et al. 2001(Brown et al. , 2003Kipfer 2012;Maricato 2013), critical historians and sociologists (Schein 2011), and communication scholars (Santana and Silva 2013). FFPT is also praised by a plethora of non-scientific publications, in which political activists and public officials (Brie 2012;Cosse 2010;Ługowski 2017;Prince and Dellheim 2018;Robert et al. 2015) have defended fare abolition, often speaking from cities where this policy has been put to a test (Giovanangelli and Sagot-Duvauroux 2012). ...
... Despite the controversy surrounding fare abolition, few studies have attempted to closely scrutinise it, focusing on specific regions or countries (Briche et al. 2017;Cordier 2007;Volinski 2012), or on specific cases (Brown et al. 2003;Cats et al. 2017;Fearnley 2013;van Goeverden et al. 2006;Storchmann 2003). Academics-within and outside the field of transport and mobility-rarely discuss FFPT. ...
... Indeed, analysing a variety of US cases of FFPT, Volinski (2012) demonstrates that abolishing ticketing systems in small PT networks can lead to a significant decrease of equipment and personnel costs, which are often higher than the revenue raised from fares. However, there is also evidence from larger PT networks in which fare abolition helped to increase local budget revenue. ...
Article
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Although the policy of abolishing fares in public transport—here referred to as “fare-free public transport” (FFPT)—exists in nearly 100 localities worldwide, it has not been thoroughly researched. To start filling this gap, I enhance the conceptual clarity about fare abolition. I start by providing a definition of FFPT, discussing its different forms, and introducing a distinction between “partial” FFPT and—the main focus of the paper—“full” FFPT. Next, I distinguish three perspectives on full FFPT—first, approaches that assess fare abolition primarily against its economic impact; second, analyses that look at its contribution to “sustainable” development; third, more critical arguments highlighting its politically transformative and socially just potential. Against the background of this debate I offer the most comprehensive inventory of full FFPT programmes to date, and begin to chart and examine their global geography. As a result, FFPT emerges as a policy that takes diverse forms and exists in diverse locations. Supported and contested by diverse rationales, it cannot be analysed as transport instrument alone.
... An increase of 9 % in ridership was retained after the experiment was terminated. The experiment was also subject to some complaints by the bus operators, who reported problems with disruptive passengers and onboard crowdedness (Volinski 2012). ...
... Such services are often shuttle or feeder (e.g., airport, park and ride), inter-campus (e.g., university, technology park) or tailored for tourists (e.g., ski-resorts, old city). In a comprehensive review, Volinski (2012) identified 39 agencies that offer FFPT in the United States to all passengers on some of their services. He found that all of them operate small-scale fleets (less than 100 vehicles) in university, resort or rural communities. ...
... After the implementation of FFPT, the ridership increased by 43 % during 9 months period. This was introduced simultaneously with an increase in service supply (Volinski 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
The subsidy level of public transport systems varies considerably among systems worldwide. While limited-scale free-fare public transport (FFPT) services such as limited campaigns and fare evasion for special groups or specific services are prevalent, there is only limited evidence on the consequences of introducing a full-fledged FFPT. The case of Tallinn, Estonia offers a full-scale experiment that provides a unique opportunity to investigate the impacts of FFPT. This study examines travel pattern changes based on individual travel habit survey shortly before and almost 1 year after the introduction of FFPT policy in Tallinn based on interviews and travel diaries of a random sample of 1500 household. We analyse modal shift effects and whether they are driven by trip generation or trip substitution, travel attitudes and satisfactions as well as impacts on equity, employment prospects, and trip destination choices. Almost a year after the introduction of FFPT, public transport usage increased by 14 % and there is evidence that the mobility of low-income residents has improved. The effect of FFPT on ridership is substantially lower than those reported in previous studies due to the good level of service provision, high public transport usage and low public transport fees that existed already prior to the FFPT.
... It has been operating since 1962 with only eleven buses and a limited service area. Other cities and regions that have experimented with free transit include Amherst, Massachusetts (Perone 2002); Austin, Texas (Volinski 2012); Hasselt, Belgium (Cats et al. 2012); the Aubagne region of France (Cats et al. 2012); London; and universities served by Flemish operators in Belgium (Cats et al. 2012). ...
... First, they are a form of demand management, preventing marginal trips. Fares can prevent overcrowding given a fixed system capacity (Volinski 2012;Shampanier, Mazar, and Ariely 2007). Second, fares raise funds for transportation providers. ...
... Third, fares may exclude the sort of "problem riders" observed during the Austin experiment. Finally, fares can function within an integrated scheme to reorganize travel behavior through price barriers (Cats et al. 2014;Volinski 2012). ...
... Key highlights of the work presented include: 1) Using inputs from the SimMobility long-term module to form the synthetic population for Singapore. The population is generated using a modified iterative proportional fitting procedure that draws on rich data sources such as Singstat (national census) and the Household Interview Travel Survey (HITS collected in year 2008 and2012). The procedure to generate this population is explained in (Zhu and Ferreira, 2014); 2) Using the SimMobility Mid-term simulator (comprised of an integrated demand and supply model) to provide nine (09) different off-peak discounts (including free pre-peak travel); 3) Using a variety of indicators from the Mid-term simulator, such as ridership and revenue from the demand-side and denied boarding from the supply-side, to examine impacts; and 4) Analysing results using different socio-demographic characteristics such as person type (in terms of occupation), gender and income. ...
... PT demand management strategies are also driven by social goals such as enhanced mobility, economic and efficient operation of PT, and to encourage commuters to travel before or after the peak period (Štraub and Jaroš, 2019). For instance, Volinski (Volinski, 2012) studied an off-peak pricing strategy implemented in Melbourne, Australia -"the early bird ticket". It offers passengers free rail travel on trips completed before 7:00 am. ...
... Bianchi et al (Bianchi et al., 1998) reported similar findings for Santiago Metro travellers when they were given off-peak period fare discounts. Additionally, similar experiences were noted in Melbourne, where passengers were offered free rail travel trips during the off-peak period (Volinski, 2012). ...
Article
Peak and off-peak pricing strategies are an important policy tool used to spread peak demand in public transportation systems. This study uses an agent-based simulator (SimMobility Mid-term) to examine the impact of pricing (off-peak fare discounts) strategies used in Singapore. The aim of the paper is to demonstrate the capabilities of the simulator, and types of detailed performance indicators it can provide, in order to examine the effects of complex public transport pricing policies. Behavioral models within the simulator are calibrated with relevant datasets such as household travel survey, smart card, GPS probe data from taxis and traffic counts for the Singapore network. Nine (09) time-based pricing strategies are examined that consist of a combination of free pre-peak travel on Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and an off-peak discount for integrated transit (public buses, MRT and Light Rail Transit (LRT)). Changes in public transport ridership, mode shares, operator's revenue and denied boarding are used as indicators to examine the impacts of pricing strategies. The effects of these policies are also examined on segments of the population in terms of income level, person type and gender. Results indicate that off-peak discounts spread PM peak demand and attract individuals to public transportation. However, the availability of fare discounts in all off-peak periods results in adverse impacts during the AM peak because many commuters shift the return leg rather than the initial leg of their journey. The study concludes with suggestions on how to explore more effective pricing strategies, i.e. providing fare discounts only during off-peak periods that surround AM peak.
... From the time of the first experiments with FFPT, the approach was not only implemented in cities in North America and Europe but also South America, Asia and Australia. The issue is still a sensitive topic throughout society, it remains a neglected subject in social, geographical, and technical research in the field of transport and academic arguments dealing with the concept remain uncommon (Volinski, 2012;Tao, 2013;Cats et al., 2017;Keblowski, 2018). ...
... Social goals are the second set of reasons to implement the system of FFPT. The main motivation is to increase mobility and to improve quality of life, not only for people with limited access to cars, which can result in less participation in everyday life but also for all the residents of the given city Brand, 2008;Volinski, 2012;Fearnley, 2013;Chen, 2014;Cats a kol., 2017). The third group of goals is connected with economic dimensions and the efficiency of the public transport service. ...
Article
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This article focuses on free fare public transport policy (FFPT) as an example of the sustainable mobility paradigm FFPT is one of a number of instruments through which a balance between the economic costs and efficiency in the public transport system can be reached. Even though the strategic approach of FFPT systems is used worldwide, their implementation is somewhat sporadic. By investigating examples of currently or formerly existing free fare public transport schemes, this study analyses the overall ability of FFPT to reach the strategic targets required. The study identifies four key areas that the municipalities are trying to target (reducing car use externalities, social justice/benefits provision, increasing the efficiency of public transport, and promoting sustainable means of transportation). As the specific conditions of each locality generate particular issues, the strategy of each transport system authority differs from one to another. It is, therefore, necessary for the transport planning authorities to implement various tools (both supportive and repressive) whose synergies will target the main objectives. A systematic and conceptual approach is what underpins the successful development of the urban transport system in the long-term.
... The FFPT adoption in such locations is a tool answering how to provide basic accessibility to those who do not own a car [38]. It brings FFPT into the debate of whether the service of public transport is (not) a common good [25,56,57] and whether it should be fully subsidised or based on the liberal principles of the market economy [28,29,58,59]. The aforementioned debate gained particular momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic, as noticed by Kębłowski, who has identified more than 90 various public transport systems all over the world that have implemented the FFPT principles to some extent [60]. ...
Article
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The fare-free public transport policy (FFPT), the characteristic feature of which is abolishing fares in public transport, influences the transport system in favour of one means of transport. By joining the academic disputes over the outcomes of the FFPT policy, the aim of this paper is to understand the effects of the FFPT on overall mobility strategies and on the dynamics of the transport system where the policy is implemented. To do so, the paper is analysing a concrete example of the FFPT practice in Frýdek-Místek (Czechia) by conducting surveys with the residents and interviews with the city planning authorities. The results show that the FFPT influences mobility strategies and dynamics in the given transport system, which imprints in an increased use of public transport. However, the FFPT does not represent a universal tool of urban and transport planning and its implementation into practice should take place in synergy with other transport (dis)incentives.
... Interviewees in that city argue that the line's fare-free arrangement is greatly boosting the streetcar's ridership and popularity with area voters. Scholarly evidence on fare-free policies supports the former claim (29,30), but the latter remains untested in this case. Also, despite the earlier non-involvement of MPOs, the streetcars in all cities but Cincinnati have since been added to their region's Transportation Improvement Program as a critical transit mode worthy of dedicated funding and network integration. ...
Article
The resurgence of streetcars in American cities has presented planners and civic leaders with a novel means of transportation and redevelopment for cities, many of which have a history of failed regional transit votes and suburban domination of regional planning bodies. To overcome these political and financial obstacles, supporters have engaged in a host of creative strategies to satisfy or bypass streetcar critics. Using a case study of four American cities with recently built streetcars (Atlanta, Cincinnati, Kansas City, and Tucson), this paper explores these strategies from the perspective of streetcar supporters. Results indicate streetcar projects in these cities were pursued in part because each city had faced at least one failed rail-transit vote in recent years (usually involving light rail). Supporters of streetcar plans anticipated vocal citizen opposition based on those past failures; however, in most cases this did not materialize to the expected degree. This suggests that narrowly focused and lower-cost streetcar projects can avoid the contentious opposition of pricey regional light-rail proposals by offering a different product and/or seeking fewer local dollars. Results also indicate widespread distrust for regional planning structures and a willingness of local boosters to bypass those entities and apply directly for federal funds. Although not all four cities ended up with the streetcar they envisioned, the findings nevertheless document an eagerness on the part of proponents to seek transit projects that transform public opinion, circumvent a burdensome regional planning process, and take advantage of a national funding environment willing to fund streetcars in urban areas. © National Academy of Sciences: Transportation Research Board 2019.
... On the other hand, municipal bike systems constitute the substitutable means of transportation against public transport, particularly for people who do not own passenger cars. Studies have proven that the substitutability of bicycles against public transport is particularly high in the case of short travels with distances of up to 5 km [31][32][33][34]. The use of electric bikes in municipal bike systems extends the average travel distance, which involves the substitution of public transport [35]. ...
Article
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The current quantitative and qualitative development of bike-sharing systems worldwide involves particular implications regarding the level of sustainability of urban development and city residents' quality of life. To make these implications as large as possible as well as the most positive, it is essential that the people who use municipal bikes on a regular basis to the largest extent possible abandon car travel at the same time. Thanks to their operational characteristics, electric bikes should enable meeting the transport needs of a wider group of city residents compared with traditional bicycles. The main aim of this study was therefore to check whether the municipal electric bike system (MEVO) in Gdańsk-Gdynia-Sopot metropolitan area of Poland lived up to the hopes placed upon it by policymakers. Therefore, the article tests the hypothesis indicating that the municipal electric bike systems constitute a substitutable form of transportation against passenger cars to a larger extent than against collective urban transport and walking trips. The analysis was performed based on the results of primary studies conducted among the users of MEVO. The data show that the MEVO was a substitutable form of transportation against collective transport and walking trips to a larger extent than against passenger cars. Through logistic regression analysis, the variables concerning the probability of replacing car trips by MEVO bicycles were determined. Among the analyzed variables, the following turned out to be statistically significant: age, the number of people in the household, the number of cars in the household, the distance from work, and gender. The results therefore indicate that substituting in favor of electro bikes was more probable for younger people with fewer people in the household and a distance to travel below 3 km, whereas it was less probable for people with more cars in the household or traveling a distance longer than 10 km. Additionally, females were more likely to choose the bike system.
... Ostensibly in consequence, ridership fell by 58% between 2015 and 2016. Other transit systems have sometimes exhibited the converse effect: large ridership increases when they eliminate fares (Volinski, 2012), particularly for non-commute trips (Cools et al., 2016;Bull et al., 2020). These cases have inspired some transit advocates to argue for "fare-free" policies. ...
Article
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For tolling in urban areas, the measured elasticity of demand with respect to money cost is much larger when tolls are introduced than when tolls are raised. This paper names this phenomenon “Large Elasticity at Introduction” (LEI). It has been observed in four of five cities with urban tolls: London, Singapore, Stockholm and Gothenburg. After describing these cities’ experiences, the paper discusses why LEI is surprising from a modeling perspective, and then discusses and formalizes three plausible explanations for LEI: (i) transaction costs; (ii) the “zero-price effect”; and (iii) the “price-sensitive users” theory proposed by Börjesson and Kristoffersson (2018).
... 2017;Goeverden a kol. 2006;Brand 2008;Volinski 2012;Chen 2014). Takové cíle se primárně dotýkají těch skupin obyvatel, jako jsou lidé s nízkým příjmy, senioři, hendikepovaní, studentiči ti, jenž nevlastní osobní automobil a jsou závislý na veřejné dopravě. ...
Thesis
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This diploma thesis studies the issue of travel behaviour in the systems with abolished fares of public transport, so called free fare public transport policy (FFPT), which are dominantly influencing the transport system in favour of one means of transport. The main aim of this paper is to figure out how the concept of FFPT is affecting the choice of means of transport and what is the influence of the FFPT on the dynamic in the given transport system. Besides conceptual framing of main theoretical knowledge regarding the issue of travel behaviour and development of transportation systems, the paper is using analysis of practical implementation of the FFPT concept and also, on the case of Frýdek-Místek, the case study of specifics system with implemented FFPTt. The results indicate that introduction of the FFPT is effective way how to influence travel behaviour in the favour of public transport and to change conditions in the given transport system, which is then more variable. It’s important to mention, FFPT concept does not represents universal tool how to influence development of transport systems while it is just one measure out of many others. Besides of focusing on specifics measurements it is important to systematically using different tools and its complementarity while development of transport and urban system is complex process. Strategies of such a development then should respect it.
Article
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En mars 2018, la Maire de paris proposait de rendre les transports en commun gratuits pour lutter contre la pression automobile. Alors qu’il s’agit d’une proposition récurrente et que de nombreuses villes l’ont expérimentée, aucun article scientifique ne propose un cadre d’analyse économique cohérent pour saisir les effets attendus d’une telle mesure. Les résultats des travaux de l’économie des transports suggèrent que la gratuité des transports en commun à Paris n’est pas en mesure de réduire significativement la pression automobile car elle aurait un impact faible sur le report modal des automobilistes. Les études de cas et les simulations réalisées à l’aide de modèles de transport vont dans le même sens. Elles indiquent que l’effet d’une telle mesure sur la pression automobile est très limité. En pratique, seules les villes qui poursuivaient aussi d’autres objectifs ont parfois conservé leur politique de gratuité. Il ressort de cette analyse de la littérature que la réduction de la pression automobile passe par un changement du coût relatif de l’utilisation de la voiture et des transports en commun. Pour atteindre cet objectif, différentes mesures doivent être envisagées : la mise en place de taxes sur la possession ou l’utilisation de l’automobile (le péage urbain est une des modalités possibles), améliorer la qualité des transports en commun pour en réduire la saturation, réduire l’espace public dévolu à l’automobile, promouvoir d’autres modes de transport.
Technical Report
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L’objectif de cette étude est de réaliser une revue de la littérature sur les effets qu’il faut attendre de la mise en oeuvre d’une mesure de gratuité généralisée des transports en commun sur la pression automobile dans l’agglomération parisienne. Pour répondre à cette question, nous avons croisé les regards que l’économie et la sociologie ont pu porter sur le sujet. Nous avons commencé par revenir sur les raisons pour lesquelles il est important d’inciter à l’utilisation des transports en commun. Premièrement, nous soulignons l’importance de réduire la pression automobile dans les villes en discutant les principales externalités qu’elle génère. Deuxièmement, nous présentons l’incidence de l’utilisation des transports en commun sur ces externalités. Nous mettons en évidence que l’utilisation des transports en commun réduit la congestion et la pollution de l’air, augmente l’activité économique et peut atténuer les décalages spatiaux. Nous avons ensuite réalisé une méta-analyse de la littérature traitant de la gratuité des transports en commun. Nous avons listé, de manière systématique, les articles sur le sujet, ce qui nous a permis d’identifier quelques 478 articles. Parmi ces articles, seuls 10 articles scientifiques traitent de la gratuité totale et 17 de la gratuité partielle. Cette démarche nous a aussi permis d’identifier 23 rapports (non-scientifiques) sur les politiques de tarification des transports que nous avons classés comme de la littérature « grise ». Ces travaux sont essentiellement mobilisés pour la dernière partie du rapport, afin rendre compte des effets observés des expériences de gratuité menées dans d’autres villes à travers le monde. Le principal enseignement de cette méta-analyse est l’absence de cadre de réflexion cohérent et unifié sur cette question. Nous sommes donc revenus sur les enseignements qui découlent des théories établies de l’économie des transports. Cette littérature ne traite généralement pas directement de la question de la gratuité des transports, mais permet d’étudier les effets d’une telle politique dans un cadre d’analyse cohérent et bien établi.
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