Op-ed. Successful Fare-free Public Transport never comes alone

“Those that fail to learn the lessons of history, are doomed to repeat them.” 
– Attributed to Winston Churchill (and others)

Discussions of free public transport are often presented by the media and too often even in expert discussions as if it were a new concept that has no history.  To make wise policy decisions we need to be aware of this history.

To this end, this broad historic  overview and critical expert commentary on the international evolution of Fare Free Public Transport  (FTP here) covering the last half century was prepared by Dr. Michel van Hulten (see below) and submitted as a working paper in support of the international conference organized in Tallinn under the title: “Free public transport for all. Dream or reality”   In this working paper the author looks at the issues of the ‘why, how, when, where to pay for public transport’ (FFPT) – issues and questions that need to be at the heart  of our discussions and in time our decisions and actions.  

Required reading!

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World Streets International Advisory Panel: The second decade

Posting on updating World Street’s international advisory panel – WORKING DRAFT FOR COMMENT,  18 April 2018 –

Early on in 2008, as part of the task of laying the groundwork for a new  independent collaborative platform on sustainable transport for what eventually became World Streets:  The Politics of Transport in Cities“, we decided to get in touch with some of our most trusted and creative colleagues working in various ways and  in many very different environments on the challenges of sustainable transport, sustainable cities and sustainable lives — and ask them if they might have a look at our initial work plan and possibly make suggestions and comments in order to  help us do a better job in this self-assigned task.

Ideas and encouragement generously poured in from this initial core group of friends, helping us to lay an improved  base and setting a pattern for our proposed collaborative venture. And as we moved ahead other colleagues joined in with their counsel and support, which we then decided to explain and encourage, calling this our informal  International Advisory Panel.  Now if this might strike you to be a bit puffed up and institutional, we can assure you that the whole thing has from the beginning  been strictly informal and collegial with no pretenses of being anything more.

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“This might not strike you as an intellectual bombshell,” William H. Whyte liked to say, “but people like to sit where there are places for them to sit.” Whyte’s famous observations of plazas and parks suggested that people were not that picky about where they sit, as long as they could sit somewhere. But he also demonstrated that certain types of seating could revitalize a moribund place.

Seating that is accessible, comfortable, well-maintained, and located in the right places is critical to successful placemaking. Here are a few basics to consider when incorporating moveable seating into your public areas.

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Op-Ed: On-street parking fees despite zero public transport?

Can on-street parking fees really help places with poor public transport?

I was asked this many times in Pune, India, while I was there on mission three weeks ago*. Parking is a hot topic in this Maharashtra city of about 5 million people because many Pune streets have extreme parking problems and because the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has a new and progressive draft parking policy awaiting approval. However, public transport in Pune remains unappealing for vehicle owners. Hence the question.

The short answer is yes! 

By Paul Barter, Adjunct Associate Professor, LKY School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

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Op-Ed. James Robertson on the New Economics Foundation’s 30th anniversary

  1. The 30th Birthday of the New Economics Foundation
  2. The Money Trap: What Brexit and Trump have in common
  3. First Brexit, Now Trump: What About Globalisation?
  4. Humans Causing Sixth Extinction Event on Earth?
  5. The UK Prime Minister Should Plan a Greener Britain
  6. A Lesson From Iceland
  7. Globalisation v Localisation


 * James Robertson: “Working for a sane alternative

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Mediating Heritage Conservation and Urban Development in Contemporary Malaysia


Cultural dissonance – Melaka


The more I thought about this question, and as I dug deeper into my research, it quickly became evident that there is a lot more to it than I had initially thought.

– Dr. Creighton Connally, Postdoctoral Fellow, Asian Urbanism Cluster, Asia Research Institute, NUS, Singapore

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