Thursday, April 05, 2007

Should the Subway Be Free?

There is a very long but interesting post at Subway Blogger about why the New York City subway should be free. The gist of it is that they spend so much money on fare collection that eliminating it would save a lot of money and lead to other indirect savings through better conservation of resources, etc. Given that I spend about $912 a year to ride the subway, I kind of like the idea!

10 comments:

moneymonk said...

$912 a year is far better than owning a car. Making the subway free may create other problems. My brother lives in Harlem and he said that if it was free. The may be more people riding the train causing a massive long lines.

When you eliminate something you must think of the drawbacks

Anonymous said...

I basically agree with moneymonk above... if it were free the demand would increase.

There's no way that expenses related to fare collection actually exceed profits, right?

And really, if that IS the case, I'm inclined to think the opposite--that fares should be increased!

~Dawn said...

I don't much care if the subway is free in NYC, but if the Subway Sandwich was free, I would care. Even once a month or twice a year, I'd take it for ride.

I need to get off these drugs...

mOOm said...

I'd privatize it or contract out the management of the system...

3 Things About Money said...

Fascinating -- and a great idea..I have to agree about the transition away from tokens. That was stupid. Still, I can think of downsides. What about subway workers out of work? Security in the station? Most importantly, a giant leap in ridership overwhelming the system? Overall though, seems like a great idea.

Anonymous said...

They made the buses free in my town for a couple months to try to increase ridership. The buses ended up filling up with homeless folks who preferred sitting on buses over sitting in the cold.

Anonymous said...

Bronx Chica...I would love it to be free more around holidays! Also to everyone on their birthday...that would be sweet!

frugal zeitgeist said...

Interesting concept. It wouldn't be "free", though. We'd be paying for operation, repair, worker health insurance, etc. through taxes. (We already do to some extent.) I have no problem with letting the people who actually use the subway fund a large part of its operation; as another $912/year commuter. that seems fair to me.

Joshua said...

It would be a big mistake, because every homeless person in NYC would move onto the subway in winter.

SavingDiva said...

I don't think free is the way to go. However, I do think there should be programs that allow companies to give their employees discounted ride cards. I don't live in NYC, but the public transportation where I live has programs that allow employers to pay for employees to ride the public transportation system instead of driving. This is extremely useful for companies that have limited parking.