Comment 20394

By Rusty (registered) - website | Posted March 27, 2008 at 12:06:14

Hi Brodiec,

There are a lot of assumptions in your argument. I agree that a full funded systems is at risk of being ignored and underfunded. I wouldn't advocate for anything less than a properly managed system.

Ridership figures should be measured and service targets set and maintained - agreed. But we don't have to collect fares to do that. (Fare collection is expensive to manage. At a nickel a ride it wouldn't pay for the costs of maintaining it.)

I don't believe the goal of maintaining an effective service is tied to user fees. The system can languish regardless of whether we pay for it or not. Ultimately it has to be give bigger priority in the voters minds. One way to do this is encourage more ridership, especially among the 'voting classes' (i.e. the medium and high income earners).

I don't buy the argument that a free system would lead to abuse and the 'taking for granted' of the system. Sure there is a risk that this could happen but there are many ways to alleviate this beyond maintaining the user fee system we have today.

I honestly feel that free transit is the direction many municipalities are going these days - although it may be a few years away for most. I wish Hamilton could take the lead here.

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