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Paying for public transport — the tensions are rising

Posted by on Aug 5, 2013 in Accessibility, All news, Bus, Funding, North America, Rail, Services, Social inclusion, Sustainability, Systems |

If you thought only big Brazilian cities are facing rebellions about public transport fare increases, think again. A couple of years after the Occupy movement stopped occupying Wall Street, a new focus of community action in New York City concerns above-inflation bus and subway fare hikes.

The comparison with Occupy is relevant for another reason: that some campaigners are blaming Wall Street financiers for leeching public money from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority under the terms on which it was saved from bankruptcy in recent years.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that New York fares are set to rise by half over the next decade, although passengers already finance 76% of the system’s costs, a much higher proportion than in some United States cities.

But critics, such as Transportation Alternatives, say there have been too many fare increases already, while says rising costs are because of debt and interest payments being too high, and backs up its argument with plenty of research.

The tensions between the need for more and better public transport and how the costs or providing it will be distributed will only increase in the coming years: watch this space!

Pic: pio3 /
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