Conferences & lectures

Free Public Transport: We Don't Pay For Elevators

Friday, October 6, 2017
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Jason Prince


This event is free


S Annex
2145 Mackay
Room S-201



mtl metro

The Social Justice Center, a working group of CISSC, presents Jason Prince speaking about his new book Free Public Transport: We Don't Pay For Elevators (co-edited with Judith Delheim).


Nobody would rent the upper floors of our skyscrapers if customers and workers had to pay to take the elevator. The mere idea is preposterous. Yet people have to pay for the bus and the metro to get to work and to get to shopping areas. What's the difference?

In an age of increasing inequalities and ecological crisis, movements for free public transit are proposing a profound rethinking of the role of urban transport in our cities, positioning mass transit as a fundamental human right and a public good. With cities becoming the locus of dramatic moves to reduce our carbon footprint, free mass transit, combined with measures to reduce cars and increase active modes of transport like biking and walking, could make a measurable impact in the short term. When mass transit is free, ridership increases by as much as 50% in the first year.

In its nine chapters, this book explores the winning strategies and pitfalls of case studies ranging from a major 1975 citizen campaign in Montreal to current initiatives in Toronto, Estonia, Greece, France, Italy, Sweden, Poland, China, Brazil and Mexico. As much a manifesto as a guide, this explosive book, the first ever on the topic in English, is written for those who want to truly revolutionise transport in their city.

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