Comment 113999

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted September 27, 2015 at 09:15:03 in reply to Comment 113996

I'm not sure where the "14-15 million commuters" comes from! The entire population of Ile de France is only 12 million (not 20 million as you claim) and that of course includes children, seniors and all those people who don't commute to central Paris. Please don't just make things up to try to make a point.

As I stated in a previous comment, there is now a uniform price for weekly, monthly an annual passes throughout Ile de France. At just 70 euros, it is hardly "expensive" (about the same as a monthly HSR pass at $94.60 for a far smaller and worse system).

I spent Sept 2011 to June 2012 commuting from central Paris to Lozère station, almost at the southern end of zone 4 on line B, so I have a pretty good idea of what commuters face.

Cities always have a choice: they can choose to do nothing as the GTA did for about 30-40 years which is why the Liberals eventually launched the Big Move to try to catch up. If the Conservatives had won, they would have cancelled the projects. There is nothing inevitable about this.

And, similarly, Paris did nothing about bike infrastructure until recently and they decided (not because they had no other choice) but as a deliberate strategic decision by a Bertrand Delanoe (socialist Mayor for 13 years from 2001 to 2014) to favour pedestrians and cyclists and de-emphasize motor vehicles. This policy has been followed by fellow socialist Anne Hidalgo who succeeded him, and had been deputy Mayor. If the right wing had remained in power we would not have seen these changes, and they are still largely skeptical.

These choices, like the decision to move to a uniform rate of 70 euros for a transit pass, were very much taken 'to improve their countrymen's lot in life'. There is no reason at all that couldn't have kept on without bike lanes, or with differential fares based on distance. There is also no reason that had to enforce 20% geared to income apartments in every municipality with more than 50,000 residents. These are all political choices that are controversial, difficult and expensive. It is usually easier and more comfortable for politicians to do nothing.

I'm not sure which suburbs of Paris you've visited, but many suburbs have also greatly increased the number of km of bike lanes and significantly calmed traffic.

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2015-09-27 09:33:48

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