Ride For Free!

Why oh why is the Toronto Transit Commission implementing a new coin token to pay for fares? In this day and age, wouldn’t some kind of swipe card be more efficient for the Commission and the customer? Press releases claim that the new token is more difficult to counterfeit, which is great for the TTC, but I would think that there will still be ways for the most fraudulent among us to trick the system. Most major cities are moving to some kind of swipe card. The cost of updating this system to accommodate this new coin has got to be staggering. And, in a couple years when the counterfeiters have figured out this coin, what’s going to happen?

Here’s a better idea. Make public transit free. Have vehicle parking fees and gas tax help pay for more of the operating costs. Get big business in on the deal too. Have an IBM sponsored subway line, where you ride for free, while you’re bombarded with ads for Vista, and you can purchase software and hardware while you ride, get upgrades to your system…maybe even take courses. Whaddya think?

Set up a system where individuals/businesses/corporations can sponsor individual subway cars and conduct business while in motion. Would you take public transit if it was free, even if you knew you were on the GAP line which had good looking people dressed in khakis and scarves dancing all over the place?

I don’t know. It might not work, but is it worth a shot? At least a discussion?


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