What Could Happen If We Had Free Public Transit?

Full and original article posted on CleanTechnica

Public transit has often been hailed as a green way to lower your carbon footprint. When I lived in Atlanta back on 2007, the public system there, MARTA, capitalized on its name with the catchphrase “Marta is Smarta,” meaning that it is smarter to use public transit than it is to drive and be stuck in traffic. However, Atlanta is a city that has a great public transportation system. Cities such as Baton Rouge, Shreveport, and other smaller metro areas have smaller systems with just a few buses running until 5:00 or 6:00 in the evening. It varies by city — size matters. I grew up on the bus system in Shreveport and when I moved to Atlanta where they had not only buses but trains and a transit station, it was an enlightening experience. I’ve also lived in Dallas, and even though it has a similar system to Atlanta’s, Dallas’s was more spread out and that made using it harder.

One other thing that was notably different about public transit in Atlanta from Shreveport, though, was the cost. It was relatively expensive. It’s even higher today. What would happen if the cost of riding a bus or train was gone? What would happen if it was free?

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