Talk:Free public transport

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Well, what a mess! The lists are unneccessary with the identical categories. Welcome aboard, move to the back and hold very tight please! Any tidy-up is extremely welcome. How about some pictures?Nankai 02:17, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Hmmmm, the lists still have some useful data not found on the linked pages. Better not biff them just yet.Nankai 02:58, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Does the Walt Disney World Monorail System count? The resort buses are technically open to only resort guests, but the monorail is open to all, and can be used by the public without going to the parks by either driving (and paying to park) or taking the city bus to Disney. --NE2 03:01, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Points Taken, tagger![edit]

Yeah it is a mess isn't it? I don't know how to do tables. Does anyone else?Nankai 22:04, 19 July 2007 (UTC) I removed the tag, because it said there were no references, which isn't true. Want to tag it again? Nankai 23:00, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Free for students/elderly isn't zero-fare[edit]

Zero=0, ie a lack, absence, non-existence of fare collection. There are billions of transport services with free travel for students, staff, elderly, children, babies etc. There is possibly no public transport service in existence that isn't free for somebody. I will remove any references to free travel for certain classes of passenger on this page, go and list them on the Free travel pass article if you want.Nankai 22:08, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Staten Island Railway (SIR) and Ferry[edit]

Isn't the Staten Island Railway free for anyone who doesn't get on or off at St. George Station at the north end? Isn't the Staten Island Ferry also free? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:05, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Ok, made that correction Fenwayguy (talk) 19:36, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

What about the negatives of zero-fare public transport?[edit]

This article is a bit one sided and does not consider the negatives.

Two possible negatives are

1> People often don't value something which is free or very cheap.

2> If it costs $X to make it free, why not spend the $X on extra services, which may well result in higher public transport use.

Someone with the time and inclination to edit this article could start here with this background article from a public transport advocacy group.

There are cities that have tried free public transport and decided it didn't work. I was looking for information on these cities when I found my way here.

Cheerful Regards —Preceding unsigned comment added by Msdorney (talkcontribs) 03:29, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Brief section added. The link didn't work for me.
John Y (talk) 19:53, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
Funny, I thought that tragedy of the commons is the #1 reason not to make public transport free. If it's free, than it will be used even by people for whom it has little utility. This leads to overcrowding. However, when one tries to increase its capacity, one finds that marginal cost outstrips marginal utility by far, making it economically inefficient. This is an argument of my own, but surely there are published arguments along these lines. GregorB (talk) 11:38, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

List Structure[edit]

The lists could be usefully structured by country (and maybe continent).Schwede66 (talk) 17:31, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Strong support! Alphabetic order is utterly pointless. --ŠJů (talk) 19:48, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Article structure[edit]

This article has several issues. The most pressing one is the extremely long and unwieldy list of "limited zero-fare"; which in many cases means a singular bus line during a limited season. In my opinion, we should axe this list. I don't see any use for it even as a stand-alone list article, althought a Limited zero-fare heading certainly has a place in this article. Anarkitekt (talk) 17:51, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Also, the definition of limited zero-fare needs to be spelled out. Zagreb is a good example: some fares are free for all citizens (such as tram fares in the radius of c. 1 km from city center), and all fares are free for some citizens (e.g. students and those over 65 years of age). Still, Zagreb is listed as having "zero-fare public transport", while limited zero-fare looks closer to the truth. GregorB (talk) 11:43, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

Deleted any free public transport service from the list of limited services if it was described as "de-facto", "discontinued" or is actually a free travel pass for certain types of passenger; moved list to new page.Nankai (talk) 20:01, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Well done! The article looks much better now. -Anarkitekt (talk) 00:33, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Title change[edit]

I have given this considerable thought before proposing this title change to Free Public Transport. It is important to keep the title broad, so as not to miss any of the important opportunities that this approach can lead to. And if you go to our on-going series of articles and presentations on exactly this at, with very broad international participation, I hope you will find the level of discourse and knowledgability on the topic of sufficient quality that you will hold off on your reserves for the coming weeks during which we shall be digging a lot deeper into this important policy matter. For now, we are collecting views and statements which are setting out what are considered to be the main weak points of this excellent path-breaking approach. ericbritton 12:26, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Title change disputed; request move back to 'Zero-fare public transport'[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

No consensus to move. Vegaswikian (talk) 08:38, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Free public transportZero-fare public transport — because zero-fare is more precise than 'free'; a person with a free travel pass is getting "free public transport" but the transport provider is not getting the operational benefit of zfpt, as ticketing, pass checking or fare collection still takes place. An article called Free public transport encompasses zero-fare transport and free travel passes, therefore the present title is imprecise.Nankai (talk) 20:08, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Note, this change, if agreed, would also be applied to List of free public transport routesNankai (talk) 06:55, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Support Seconded. "Zero-fare" is more precise, which makes it a lot easier to understand and to expand on the article. We should keep it as "Zero-fare" at least until the content and structure of the article improves. -Anarkitekt (talk) 00:15, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Additionally, the name of the category Category:Zero-fare transport services was not changed, and the wording has not been modified to reflect the new name of its main article. Anarkitekt (talk) 02:27, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose"Zero-fare" sounds like jargon. What do the relevant sources use? Powers T 19:36, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Powers for your comment, and your qestion, which is a good one. For examples of the use of the term zero-fare in formal contexts, I searched Google Scholar for the term (in quotes). Here are some results:
The term free public transport crops up as often, or more often, on a Google Scholar search, but as I said before in my name reversal proposal (above), in some contexts it refers to a free travel pass.Nankai (talk) 06:43, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
I guess my concern here is that those sources may not be written for the general public but for a specialist academic audience. Powers T 12:42, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Support as "free" has other connotations besides "gratis" (like "libre") and could be used to describe open versus restricted transport if the public is divided by class and restricted (like segregation, back of the bus rules, etc) (talk) 20:27, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - per WP:COMMONNAME - "free bus pass" etc. This isn't an academic journal. – ukexpat (talk) 23:20, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. No evidence that "zero-fare" is common usage. The nom's rationale seems to be looking at it purely from the perspective of the bus company, whereas the passenger's view is that if they don't have to pay, they don't have to pay. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 09:59, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
That is a valid standpoint, certainly. However, shouldn't the article, in the interest of neutrality, describe the subject both from the passenger's point of view and that of the service provider? To me personally (as an everyday commuter) the difference is apparent - for example: I'm not eligible for free transit, so I have to enter the bus by the front doors. Parents with baby carriers travel free of charge, and can enter the bus by either door. But that doesn't mean that parents sympathize with fare-dodgers.
Given the (current) scope of the article, the distinction needs to be made in some form - for the sake of editing if not for the reader of the article. Nankai established above that zero-fare is not without academic notability. --Anarkitekt (talk) 15:16, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Zero-fare is a horrific murdering of the English language. How can you pay a fare of nothing? The common term is Free public transport or even Fares-free public transport. Additionally, the proposer is assuming that ticketing, pass checking or fare collection still takes place. That is not always the case, and there are examples where no accounting for numbers of passengers takes place, and the operator is paid a flat fee for providing the service, regardless of how many passengers are carried. There are even examples where a municipality or transport authority provides a free service directly, again without recording the number of passengers. Skinsmoke (talk) 07:27, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


Hi, I currently live in Paris and was surprised to find the nearby suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt on this list. The reference takes me to Boulogne-Billancourt's wikipedia article (in French), which does not mention anything about zero-fare transport. As far as I know, there is no such thing as zero-fare transport in Boulogne-Billancourt.

Can anyone confirm that there is (or isn't) zero-fare transport in Boulogne-Billancourt? (talk) 13:21, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

Hi, here is the text in the French wikipédia that refers to the link: La RATP exploite aussi à Boulogne-Billancourt une ligne de transport interurbain, le SUBB (Service urbain de Boulogne-Billancourt ou Service urbain Val de Seine). En fonctionnement du lundi au samedi et entièrement gratuite, la ligne effectue deux circuits différents : l'un dit « boucle nord » (desservant entre autres l'hôtel de ville, la place Marcel-Sembat et le Parchamp) et l'autre dit « boucle sud » (desservant entre autres l'hôtel de ville, le centre culturel de la Belle Feuille et la patinoire de Boulogne)[20].

so this is not the whole place which is zero-fare but 2 bus lanes and the only local buses lanes as the other one goes further than only Bristol.Phil of Bristol 11:12, 8 December 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Phil of Bristol (talkcontribs)

Jackson, Wyoming[edit]

Just an FYI that I do recall riding on The START Bus in Jackson, Wyoming. Though trips outside Jackson to nearby locations, such as Hoback, Teton Village and Star Valley, cost money, the Town Shuttle, which runs entirely within Jackson, is zero-fare. NHRHS2010 the student pilot 03:09, 4 May 2012 (UTC)