Socialism Will Never Work

Fortunately a public, owned by the people, transport system has nothing to do with socialism. 🙂

FrenchBus
… and making it free to use will help the planet.

In the year since, as France 24 notes, an academic study of the system has found …

… that ridership has spiked over the last year, more than doubling on weekends and increasing by around 60 percent during the week.

More revealing than the simple increase is the way that the free buses are changing residents’ habits. In a town where a large majority of residents (about two-thirds) have typically depended on their cars to get around, half of the 2,000 passengers surveyed by researchers said they take the bus more or much more than before. Of those new users, 48 percent say they regularly use it instead of their cars. Some (approximately 5 percent of the total respondents) even said that they sold their car or decided against buying a second one because of the free buses.

The free buses are also unlocking entirely new activity — of those new riders, 33% say they’re taking new trips they wouldn’t have taken before at all. (I gleaned this from reading the academics’ preliminary report here, via my rudimentary Canadian French and some Google Translate.)

I’m not surprised it unlocks new demand; if you make something free to jump on and off, you remove not just the sticker price (significant, obviously) but the fiddly little transactional costs (do I have the right change/money/pass on hand right now?), prompting evermore spur-of-the-moment usage.

On top of that is the potent symbolism, as the editor of a city magazine in Dunkirk observes:

It’s become a synonym of freedom,” she says, attracting those who might not otherwise have used public transport. In this largely working-class city, “people of limited means say they’ve rediscovered transport” – a prerequisite to finding a job, maintaining friendships or participating in local arts and culture. But it’s not only disadvantaged or working-class people who take the bus. It is also attracting white-collar workers, students and pensioners, according to Delevoye.

Me, I’d love to see an analysis of the impact on a few other aspects of city life. One is the economic ledger — i.e. the cost of making the system free, measured against its economic benefits. (I’d imagine that on top of attracting new residents, it’d spur all manner of economic and cultural activity, and improve the efficiency of how people access government services.) The other is the environmental and climate impact; shifting so much travel from cars to buses probably reduces emissions, and I’d love to see how much.

Your editrix has no idea but finds it a remarkable, bold decision to make public transport free to use. I guess it will give some bumps to the local economy. Only time will tell.

 

29 comments

    • AFAIK the online shopping blight isn’t a big drama in Europe yet. EU lifestyle is much more urban than US, so everybody is much closer and faster at the stores. And many ppl, particularly in sleepy Germany, are sceptical about online shopping. And nobody likes to send stuff back because it’s bad for the environment. So they rather hit the stores, get service by real experts and can make the correct decisions about stuffz. Retail is still alive in Europe.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The transportation isn’t free. Rider’s don’t pay anything to get on and ride when they ride. But, the buses and other vehicles had to be purchased, drivers have to be paid, fuel/energy, insurance, maintenance all have to be paid for…

    Any government-run system becomes bureaucratic and inefficient driving up the costs. The demand for more supposed ‘free stuff’ provided by the system goes up and so does the cost.

    Where does the money come from? Is it more or less than private transportation?

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Any government-run system becomes bureaucratic and inefficient driving up the costs.”

      As we’ve just seen in the UK, it’s exactly the other way round: They sold their railway system to some private enterprise and the net became smaller, service worse and everything fell apart. Now the gov’mt wants to buy the railway back and taxpayers have to pay again for something that once was theirs already. 😦

      I think there are things that must never be privatized: Schools, unis, roads, railways, hospitals, police and jails, airports, harbours, unemployment-, pension- and health insurances. To take good care of all the infrastucture we have gov’mts and their departments.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Nalates, sorry for very late reply. I was distracted by a troll you see. Ok, back to your comment now:

      “The transportation isn’t free.”
      Of course not.

      “Rider’s don’t pay anything to get on and ride when they ride.”
      That’s right, yes.

      “But, the buses and other vehicles had to be purchased, drivers have to be paid, fuel/energy, insurance, maintenance all have to be paid for…”
      One word answer: TexasTaxes.

      “Any government-run system becomes bureaucratic and inefficient driving up the costs.”
      Not neccesarily, no. And you could say the same about private enterprises which are also on top of all the costs trying to create a profit. And mostly they do that by shrinking the net and the service and maintenance costs and firing the workforce … and melking the cow until it’s too late.

      “The demand for more supposed ‘free stuff’ provided by the system goes up and so does the cost.”
      Yes. If there is a demand it must be satisfied. That’s why we are citizens of our respective countries: To reap the benefits for our tax paying. Not for some unaccountable military adventurism in far away lands, only to see how at home everything breaks down. The North American train system is the laughing stock of the world, the whole public transport is a shambles and no alternative for individual transport/wasting your own money/burning fossil fuel. A spiral of doom.

      Have you seen the weird roofboxes atop the Dunkirk bus? It’s for the bus’s hydrogen engine, a very inexpensive and environmentally friendly way of propulsion. It doesn’t pollute the air but only puffs out some steam, like a tea kettle. In my old hometown in Germany half the public bus fleet is already on hydrogen, and more and more taxi companies are following that example and having their cars modified. It’s the real future rather than stupid electro motors á la Elon Musk’s Tesla crap. Scientists already found out we don’t have enough lithium on the planet to build all the needed akkus. So the electric car boom will be shortlived. And we already know that now, even before those stupid vehicles become mainstream.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The difficulty with socialism is that one person or group knows what is best for everyone. In this country, we have the best foundation. Each person has the freedom to live and learn, also work at their own choice, but also accept the responsibilities of those choices. Some people see the problems of society, then think we could fix or repair if we could get everyone to behave in such and such a way. But to have true freedom laws from the constitution must support the individual first, then create laws that support individuals and families. From there, all things are possible, but in no way will all problems will be fixed. Impossible. To do so would remove freedom. To have real freedom is messy. But individuals solve those problems day to day. **When everyone must adhere to a groups’ ideas of how everyone should behave, then the movers and shakers, the indviduals with unique ideas are prevented from becoming.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Dolphin, thx for writing in.

      I guess I know about which country you speak. And that is exactly the country where your individualism does not work out! Individual before group, leader before society … leads to fascism and oligarchy. It supports sociopaths. That’s why troglodytes like the Bushes and now Trump are in power in your country and rather see their country and the whole world burn than sharing some of the riches and powers.

      Fortunately the Western capitalism and empireism is on its last leg and once done, then we can finally enter the “Asian Century” for good. I guess the Chinese have found the right way to manage capitalism.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I understand the use of emotional barbs, quips, and such. I’ve always felt to allow each person to have their own views. I share, but let others decide for themselves. Thankfully, there are others reading this so they can think for themselves. With time, I’ve understood more, and more people begin to understand more or add to their common sense.

        Liked by 1 person

        • “I understand the use of emotional barbs, quips, and such.”
          I have no idea what a barb is or a quip but I can assure you emotion is the last thing we need in politics. Or on the balustrades. We better leave petty selfish emotions to the right wing populists.

          “I’ve always felt to allow each person to have their own views.”
          Oh, how very very nice of you. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

            • Another very enigmatic comment, Dolphin. I didn’t understand anything. What did you get? What do you see? And what do you see behind what you see? The man behind the man behind the curtain?

              But yes, rhetoric is bad … and totally wasted on poor ESLer me.

              And … is that the newest trend now, liking ones own comments?

              Like

    • No, its not okay. If it’s ok for you to write enigmatic undecipherable shit nobody understands, doesn’t that make you a troll?
      Yes, it does.
      You wanna be a troll?
      Or would you rather add to the discussion, that you so ignorantly started, in a reasonable adult way?
      You know I never banned anyone from commenting here since I like to hear opposing reasoning, but if people are stubbornly holding onto disruptive behaviour I might, some not so fine day, adopt a different policy.
      The choice is yours.

      Like

  3. I don’t plan to throw darts or lower myself to such displays. There’s no room for real discussion. I shared, but if you don’t understand, then resort to this, I will go on my way. You may continue with how you feel, and I will continue with what I understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Throw darts at what or whom?
      Lower yourself … from where to what level?

      You still fail to make any sense or come up with some hard facts. You leave more questions open than anyone ever asked. Stop dancing around the pudding and finally write something of value, man. Do the basics of written communication escape you like totally?

      Like

    • “It’s kind of like two people from different countries with different languages.”
      No! It’s not just ‘like’; we are actually two people from different countries with different languages! Me, I don’t care, I’m trying to converse in a foreign language, and up to now doing quite ok-ish. At least nobody was ever accusing me of talking in riddles.
      Can’t say the same about you: Since your very first comment you steadfastly and stubbornly refuse to make a point, to come clean and say what you want. So it’s really not that I don’t understand you; it’s more like you refuse to make yourself understood. Are you man or just a wibbly wobbly rubberband?

      “If the other doesn’t understand, why worry.”
      Sorry, was that a stupid question or a stupid statement? This is a fukn blog, communication and being understood is the major concern here. So I worry. Of course I worry about it. That you can’t give as wet fart about clear communication kinda disqualifies you from this place, and I can only hope you don’t have a blog of your own. Would be the least informative blog ever! 😐

      “Just talk about other topics.”
      Why? So far you haven’t even contributed the least little bit to the topic(s) on hand. The congregation still awaits your expertise regarding public mass transportation.

      Good day sir.

      Like

  4. It’s amazing. One person see a brown and white cat, and says it’s a white cat, the other brown. People can make mountains out of the littlest things. which we work to avoid. We talk, if other’s listen, cool. If not, we go on. Make of it what you will.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Those people ae both stupid then. No reason to make a mountain of or discuss a brown and white cat. If I see one I call it brown/white cat, don’t leave out any information.
      Communication, even truthful communication is so easy peasy.

      Like

    • Okay, if you say/think so.

      But how about coming clean mofo, and finally tell us what it is you wanna communicate here and in how far your totally unhinged comment is in any connection with the original post? For example you could start by naming that mysterious “type person” and where they “hate everyone with a different opinion. Because I’m slowly starting to dislike you, and that even tho you didn’t state any opinion yet! :/ So none of the persons in your comment can be you and/or me.

      No comment about the second sentence as it doesn’t make any sense, or my understanding of the English language is too poor to decipher your nonsensical code. However, in any case your comments don’t contribute to this blog at all. Please try to get off the drugs before attempting to compose your next comment. Or at least don’t drink that American tap water anymore.

      Ain’t nobody got time to read your babble any longer.

      Like

  5. When my friends and I talk and discuss, anyone listening, if they are listening, knows what we’re saying. If they’re really listening. And, if they’re really listening, looking for understanding, then that brings discussions into the open. Otherwise, we go onto others who are listening. When insults arise, as they have again, what’s the point? I encourage others to listen, read, but follow what they understand, and never fall to darts and barbs when clearly others will discuss.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now that almost makes sense in itself. Too bad you fail to make yourself understood in the topic on hand. And now you’re also a makebelief “we” in order to act like some kind of sick majority? Hey, liking ones own comments is bad form, really bad form. Don’t do that! Also you don’t give the impression of “looking for understanding”, else you’d communicate in less cryptic ways. Now you’re looking like a fuxn loonatic, by all means.

      So what’s your opinion in regards to free public transportation? Support it or stay an antisocial American? And why? It’s all me and my readers wanna know. No interest in your enigmatic neuroses.

      Get better soon.

      Like

        • Real conversations need no such thing! All they need is clear, concise information and reasonably reasonable opinions. So far, since weeks, you failed to come up with anything but flubber. And it would’ve been so easy: Free ride on Dunkerque busses: Yay or Nay! And why. You surely must have an opinion on that. Americans always have opinions, mostly contrary and detrimental to the rest of the civiized world. And mostly born out of envy and frustration. Anyhoo, after repeatedly asking you to come clean, you showed no sign of compliance. So I’m giving up on you, rate you as a failed troll and will ignore all further posts from now on.

          kthxbai

          Like

  6. Look at the words, which you applied earlier. Read your words as if someone said them to you, and see if you could have a conversation. Two people throwing darts and feeling like something is being said, each feeling important through anger and finger pointing. Going through life, insulting everyone who doesn’t follow one’s sets of rules, applying the same to others. All one can get from that is frustration.

    Liked by 1 person

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