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No free trams for Geneva

filed on: 25.02.2008 (25th Feb 2008)

This weekend, a referendum in Geneva rejected with 67.2 % against the proposal to make public transport free in Genève. Various left-wing parties had raised the proposal of abolishing all public transport fares in Geneva, arguing that this would encourage more motorists to leave their cars at home and use public transport.

source: Bahnforum Schweiz

Website comment: Although I am very much in favour of measures that increase public transport ridership, I am happy this was rejected. For most people, public transport is cheaper than driving anyway, so costs are obviously not decise in keeping people away from public transport. On the other hand, abolishing fares makes the operator more dependent on subsidies, and hence on the political whims of the governing majority which can and does change over time and even when well-meaning, does not always understand the needs of a public transport system. Also it would remove the operator's incentive to be as attractive and customer-focussed as possible while making it more difficult to keep undesirables out of public transport. The latter would have a counter-productive effect of on the non-captive segments of the ridership.

This news item is from the 2008 newslog.

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