A Fare-r Deal for Riders

By Aaron Short : streetsblog – excerpt

Transit can raise ridership and improve service while avoiding regressive fare hikes, experts say.

Transit agencies can reverse the trend of falling ridership and maintain or even boost revenue — if they eschew regressive fare hikes in favor of improving the quality and affordability of their services, according to a TransitCenter paper released Thursday.

That would require an attitudinal shift, toward treating the bus and rail systems they run like a public trust — and not a cash box, as too many transit leaders do now.

“Focusing on pricing really highlights transit as a revenue-generation source instead of a public service, but public transit is a public service,” TransitCenter program director Stephanie Lotshaw, who co-wrote the report, told Streetsblog, adding, “that’s why it was created in the first place.”…

Lotshaw argues that transit leaders must get away from their “scarcity mentality” and trust that the services can make up in volume what they sacrifice in price.

“The decision to see what would benefit the customer and help them use the service has gone out of the window,” Lotshaw said. “In the private sector, it would be intuitive to make the product better so more people would want it — but, for some reason, it’s not the same in transit.”…(more)

I think this speaks for itself. Give the public what they want not what you want and they will take it.

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