In October 2022 our team went to Castile and León, one of Spain’s most rural and depopulated regions, to explore the local public transport system. What is so special about it? The local transport system, organised by the regional authorities, is both fare-free and on-demand.
Across the United States, fare-free public transport unexpectedly gained popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Only 11 cases of full FFPT existed before 2020. As the pandemic unfolded, FFPT evolved from a relatively fringe policy to a “best practice” applied by transit agencies in response to COVID-19. More than 60% of urban public transit agencies suspended fare collection during the pandemic. This report traces this transformation.
Euronews has recently interviewed Wojciech Kębłowski from LiFT about the policy of providing fare-free access to transport. Speaking alongside François Bausch, Luxembourg’s Deputy Prime Minister and Mari Jüssi, an urban mobility expert from Tallinn, Wojciech defended fare-free public transport as a policy that tackled head-on both social and environmental inequalities in urban transport.
Wojciech Kębłowski from LiFT has recently contributed to the Deutsche Welle podcast Inside Europe about recent experiments in public transport provision across Europe. He talks about what makes public transport truly public, and why making it fare-free is a welcome innovation.
We’re delighted to share a new publication emerging from LiFT. Louise Sträuli and Wojciech Kębłowski wrote together an article published in Urban Studies titled ‘The gates of paradise are open’: Contesting and producing publicness in the Brussels metro through fare evasion.
COVID-19 has had a profound effect on mobility. From one day to the next employees started teleworking en masse, some of us avoided places like public transport because of a fear of contracting the virus, and many started walking in weekends because other leisure activities were cancelled. But did these experiences make us think differently now about mobility ? To which extent will we continue to telework ? Are we still afraid to take public transport or share a ride with others ? A panel survey organized by the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) together with the University of Luxembourg offers more insights into the long-term effects of COVID-19 on sustainable mobility.
This blogpost is the first in the hopefully long series of many interesting reflections on fare-free public transport (FFPT). But what is FFPT, and what do we mean by it?