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Old Posted Sep 11, 2019, 3:01 AM
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Nouvellecosse Nouvellecosse is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 5,887
I agree that there's a possibility that people may value the service less if it's free. But at the same time, it's already dirt cheap in many places so the effect probably wouldn't be that huge relative to the benefits. The bigger issues are first that it would be harder to prevent the homeless from using it as a mobile shelter basically riding around all day to keep warm. Second is that fares are a more stable funding source in the sense that some governments can be erratic with funding with one deciding to be very generous causing the agency to expand service and develop all sorts of plans, and then the government could suddenly decide it needs to reign in costs and slash funding, or a new gov could be elected that's anti-transit.

If the agency doesn't have any ability to independently obtain revenue, it's screwed. The only way around that would be when setting up the free service the gov would create a sort of long term funding account where the agency has at least 10-15 years worth of funding secured and can make decisions over the long term on how to manage it, increasing or decreasing expenditures slightly every year or even quarterly based on how quickly it's exhausting the account..
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