Communication #2 – Email from Eric Southern, Commissioner, dated September 14, 2018 re Pilot Project of Offering One Month of Free Transit.

Communication #2

September 26, 2018

Sent via Email

September 14, 2018

Dear fellow commissioners,

As you know, I am a multi-modal person (as most are) but usually enjoy driving my car. As a car driver who dislikes the congestion facing this city, I would love for other people that don’t enjoy driving as much to have a stronger option to move to other modes of transportation. The reason I am mentioning this is that I would like to see if the city would be willing to consider a pilot project of one month of free transit during the summer to gauge the potential economic and societal impact (health) of offering the service for free in our city.

As most people know there are many benefits to be found by having people use transit:

1 – Better health outcomes –

2 – Reduced need for road widenings

3 – Reduced congestion as 1 bus can handle the same capacity as 30-60 cars (or more).

4 – Reduced need for road maintenance.

5 – Increased property values and business sales –

6 – Savings for families that opt to no longer have a second vehicle (or first)

7 – Increased mobility for those that cannot use other modes of transportation.

8 – Saves lives as transit is significantly safer than cars.

It would be good to present a full business case from London Transit listing the full benefits available to both the City and the Province/Country from investigating if free transit were to increase ridership to help mitigate costs and the other benefits of transit. I am recommending a summer month (I know that other months might give a more accurate picture) as we can more easily accommodate an increased passenger load during those months. I would also recommend that more than simple transit ridership metrics be gathered for this study. It may be worthwhile to have the city investigate funding from other levels of government to offset the cost of the pilot.

I understand that this is an election year. I would hope that since this would easily be something that a council could either decide for or against that everyone here would be willing to send this to council even if they disagree with the idea. We should allow a new council to decide if they will consider this while weighing both the pros and cons of the pilot.


Eric Southern