All’s Fare in Love and Mass Transit

126th-anniversary-eiffel-towerIn honor of today’s Google doodle of the anniversary of the Eiffel Tower, a word from the fair city – more than a mot, several in fact, on encouraging more transit use and social integration:

What if it were possible to travel as much as you’d like by train or bus within Connecticut, from Stamford to New Haven, Hartford, New London, Waterbury, Danbury, Putnam, and hundreds of other towns, and then to travel within them, all on one transit fare card at the monthly price of just $76?

That’s what, in essence, will occur beginning in September in Île-de-France, the region that surrounds and includes Paris and which is practically the physical size of Connecticut—albeit far more populous and benefiting from a far more extensive transit system.

The plan is to eliminate the current five-zone transit fare system for people holding weekly or monthly passes and replace them with a universal, unlimited fare. The universal card will apply to virtually all transit services within Île-de-France, which is the most populous region in France, with 12 million inhabitants spread over 4,638 square miles (for comparison, the city of Paris proper has 2.3 million residents in 41 square miles, and New York City, which has a universal fare card for Subways and buses, is 305 square miles).

Meanwhile, back at the front… of moving forward with big ideas that help people and planet. Nearer the rear, let’s make sure we continue to wage the battle on whether high speed rail makes sense and against climate scientists lining their pockets with melting glaciers.