Recently I met the people who run Island Transit in Whidbey Island, Wash., and rode their fare-free bus system. It’s a serious operation with 56 buses and 101 vans. Ridership tops a million a year. Its operating budget is $8,392,677 – none of it from fares, all from a 0.6 percent sales tax collected in Island County.
Despite the pressure to conform, the pressure to make users pay and the pressure from conservative politicians at all levels, Island Transit has been fare-free from day one and is proudly so 20 years later. Not one Island Transit bus, shelter or van has advertising on it. All of Island Transit’s buses are bike rack equipped and wheelchair accessible. For folks with disabilities, Island Transit also offers a paratransit service with door-to-door service.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Monday, March 12, 2018
Sunday, January 28, 2018
The quality of public transit, and the degree it is integrated into a community, significantly
affects travel activity. As service quality improves and communities become more transitoriented, residents tend to own fewer vehicles, drive less and rely more on alternative modes (walking, cycling and public transit) than they otherwise would (ICF 2008; Litman 2007).
PubMed - NCBI: "Americans who use transit spend a median of 19 minutes daily walking to and from transit; 29% achieve > or =30 minutes of physical activity a day solely by walking to and from transit. In multivariate analysis, rail users, minorities, people in households earning <$15,000 a year, and people in high-density urban areas were more likely to spend > or =30 minutes walking to and from transit daily."