Transportation

San Francisco Mulls Free Transit

By Ryan McGreal
Published March 27, 2007

While Hamilton ratchets down its transit ridership by raising fare prices, the city of San Francisco is seriously considering transit free:

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has asked transit officials to study eliminating fares on city buses, streetcars and cable cars -- a plan that if enacted would be the largest such experiment in the nation.

"If it could happen anywhere, it could happen in San Francisco," said Newsom, who said free transit could lure people out of their cars and cut traffic.

No major transit agency in America has a systemwide free-fare policy. But more than a dozen cities -- including Seattle, Portland and Salt Lake City -- offer free rides in their downtown business corridors.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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