Australian Province Considers Free Transit

The government of New South Wales is considering a plan to remove fares for public transit.

"The Government is doing extensive modelling to make ticket prices fairer for outer suburban commuters, whether or not the free transport move goes ahead."

"If public transport were to be completely free it would cost the Government about $1 billion a year."

"However, fare revenue only covers just more than a quarter of the $3.8 billion total cost of operating public transport."

"The move could save hundreds of millions in staffing costs, ticket-machine operations and abolish the trouble-plagued smartcard."

Full Story: Free transport 'could win election'



Cost of collecting fares...

In an analysis for Santa Clara, CA,
J. Benjamin explains the concept of net fare revenue.
Subtract the cost of collecting fares from the fares collected. In this case the 1/4 of costs covered by fares include several percentage points which are the cost of collecting fares. Other factors that can be called the "cost of fares" are: 1. increased marginal cost per ride due to lower ridership resulting from fares. 2. cost of enforcing fares. 3. time lost loading and unloading passengers. The main purpose of fares today is to discourage use. They are in effect a "restraint-of-trade" subsidy to the auto, oil, and sprawl companies.

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