Traffic problems persist despite free buses
Review concludes that free public transport is attracting the wrong target audience and most drivers opt for convenience over price.2 May 2008
THE NETHERLANDS - AD reports that recent attempts to solve traffic problems by giving people free public transport don't appear to be working.
"Tailbacks remain, despite free buses" it explains.
The paper reveals that the Transport Ministry has reserved EUR 50 million for free public transport projects, which it sees as "a weapon in the battle for mobility".
But a review of 16 projects concludes they have "little effect" on traffic jams. The man behind the review concludes "convenience is more important than price".
Similar free public transport projects aimed at "breaking through the social isolation" of the over 65s haven't been faring much better. The ministry itself recently admitted that "a link between more travelling and less loneliness has not been proved".
The paper concludes "free public transport mainly attracts cyclists, pedestrians or people who would have taken the bus anyway."
Professor of Mobility Henk Meurs says he's not surprised: "When all's said and done, it's extremely difficult to get a committed motorist to hop on a bus." He advises investing in quality and Park-and-Ride facilities instead.
[Radio Netherlands / David Doherty / Expatica]