Thursday, July 9, 2009

Making it Free is Not Enough

Public Transportation that is. Buses, which are likely to be around for a while, need to be sufficiently comfortable, accessible to handicapped people, run at reasonable frequency and till late everyday and incorporate video surveillance equipment. Otherwise people here will not leave their cars at home.

And government should immediately copy what people in Santiago, Chile did more than 20 years ago: fit fume-emitting buses with catalytic converters for free and save on health costs. Our lungs won't mind.

4 comments:

blebon said...

Making bus rides free is not a solution to congestion. I'd rather see a toll fee reflecting the actual price of the road upkeep and making consumer pay petrol and kerosene at the international price without any govt subsidy are both ecofriendly and dissuavie mesures to make Mauritians use public transport.

Then, as you said, you need yo make the bus passenger friendly with comfortable chairs, quick and convinient paying system, accessible to disabled and old people, CCTV, and bus times (to be posted on each bus stop and of course)

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Policy sequencing is important. First you make sure your public transportation is sufficiently attractive to cause a displacement (here's a term you must be familiar with ;-)) in traffic. Just making it free without making it comfortable first will not do the trick. Then and only if need be you fine tune with toll fee etc. Did you know that the fumes coming out of exhaust pipes will cause saturnism - http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/saturnism - that is cause you to become stupid?

Anonymous said...

what do you mean "free"?
even those dilapidated excuses for buses have a cost.
granted, the cost to keep them going must be higher than the cost to acquire them.

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

Making them free and... safe. We can get a sense of the bad management and the underinvestment. And we know the reasons for the lack of adequate investments.