May 14, 2023Liked by Dave Heatley

Great article. One way to resolve almost all the issues you raise would be to to introduce peak pricing and make it free at other times. For example if the present bus fare for a worker travelling to work between 7:30-9:30am and returning home between 4:30-6:30pm was $3 per trip, it could be raised to $6 per trip representing peak-demand pricing. Travelling outside these times would be zero priced. This would provide equity pricing and shift demand to other times of the day. It would also improve the service at peak periods, as people would expect a better service as they were paying more for it, which is important for people getting to work. As there are fewer alternatives for workers demand would still be high and drive a revenue stream to expand the service.

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You're onto it Scott! If we can shift the debate away from the idea that zero-pricing for all users is a universal fix, then we can start discussing optimal pricing schedules for public transport. Zero-pricing remains as a tool. It will likely feature, for some users under specific circumstances, in such schedules.

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