With the looming cuts to service and increase in fares for the TriMet system (TriMet budget-balancing plan: Longer waits, higher fares) It time to rethink TriMet at all levels and make sure that we have a 21st century public transit system.
We should start by making Trimet FREE!!!
What I propose is that we increase the payroll tax that supports TriMet enough to cover the 24% of the TriMet budget that currently comes from fares. We try this for one year and then let people vote to keep the free yet higher tax system or revert back to the older system with yearly increasing fares and services cuts.
This would not just benefit people who use TriMet. Drivers would see an additional benefit of less congested roads which would make travel time in a car shorter and possible safer. We would also see improvements in air quality that would benefit everyone!
So what do you think? Would it be worth trying an experiment to see what a free public transit system would be like?