Big Think : "A way to realign these incentives and increase public transit use is to make all public transportation free to passengers, Erik Olin Wright, a professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, told Big Think. According to Wright, the benefits of free public transit are broader than are apparent with strict financial bookkeeping. The full value comes in a range of ancillary economic, health and ecological benefits, including:
"Reduced air pollution, including especially reduced greenhouse gases, which would help mitigate global warming."
"More efficient labor markets since it is easier for poor people to get to jobs. This is a benefit to employers for it makes it easier to hire people and it is a benefit to the people without cars who now find it easier to get jobs. But it is also a benefit to the society at large because it contributes to a long-term reduction in poverty."
"Health benefits: reduced asthma and other illnesses linked to automobile generated pollution."
"Less congestion on the highways for those who do need to drive."
These "positive externalities" need to be highlighted to gain public support for free transit, says Wright."