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Paris Makes All Public Transportation Free In Battle Against 'Worst Air Pollution For 10 Years' (independent.co.uk) 239

Paris has barred some cars from its streets and has made public transportation free as it suffers from the worst and most prolonged winter pollution for at least 10 years, the Airparif agency said on Wednesday. The Independent reports: Authorities have said only drivers with odd-numbered registration plates can drive in the capital region on Wednesday. Drivers of even-numbered cars were given the same opportunity on Tuesday, but could now be fined up to 35 EUR if they are caught behind the wheel. More than 1,700 motorists were fined for violations on Tuesday. Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said images of smog blanketing the capital were proof of the need to reduce vehicle use in the city center. The air pollution peak is due to the combination of emissions from vehicles and from domestic wood fires as well as near windless conditions which means pollutants have not been dispersed, the Airparif agency said. "This is a record period (of pollution) for the last 10 years," Karine Leger of AirParif told AFP by telephone. For more than a week, Airparif has published readings of PM10 at more than 80 micrograms per cubic meter of air particles, triggering the pollution alert. Along with odd-numbered cars, hybrid or electric vehicles as well as those carrying three or more people will be allowed to roam the roads. Foreign and emergency vehicles will be unaffected.
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Paris Makes All Public Transportation Free In Battle Against 'Worst Air Pollution For 10 Years'

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  • Many people drive a car in order not to use public transportation... And people having a car don't really care about saving a couple of euros to travel within Paris/suburbs.
    • Re:But... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Thursday December 08, 2016 @01:17AM (#53444591) Homepage Journal

      You're right, it's a luxury that negatively affects everyone else to the point of being a health hazard, which is why it's ok to ban it. Just because they can afford it doesn't mean everyone else needs to needlessly suffer. They could just ride a bike if they wanted. Or walk.

      • by skids ( 119237 )

        They could just ride a bike if they wanted. Or walk.

        Except for the ones that medically cannot do either of those two things. Or have cargo. Or need to get there faster. Or have prohibitively far to go.

        • Re:But... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by lxs ( 131946 ) on Thursday December 08, 2016 @03:39AM (#53444925)

          "Or need to get there faster. "
          Get there faster in a car? Not in any European city.

          • Re:But... (Score:5, Informative)

            by Orphis ( 1356561 ) on Thursday December 08, 2016 @07:55AM (#53445367)

            When I worked in Paris, I lived in the suburbs surrounding Paris and worked in another one.

            Public transport was easily 1h30m of traveling time. I would have to go through the town center and back. Share the train with all the people with the flu, suffer the unpredictability of the Parisian public transport.

            In my car, it was a solid 20 minutes, and I never caught the flu. I was saving 2 hours everyday thanks to my car.

            I'm not saying it's perfect for everyone, but for some people, it's definitely really great. Would I ever take the public transport again? Probably, if there were better routes around, not like this though.

            • Re:But... (Score:4, Insightful)

              by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday December 08, 2016 @10:09AM (#53445769) Homepage Journal

              I had the same experience in SF. 15 minutes driving including parking, or an hour and a half minimum on MUNI (bus, train, bus). Asthma plus hills plus office job equals no, so there was certainly no biking or walking going on. Nobody needs to smell my pits that bad.

              This is why we need PRT. Buses don't solve the problem because they don't go where you need them to go. Self-driving cars don't solve the problem because they won't alleviate traffic issues, only parking.

              • Actually, I think automated cars would solve some traffic issues. Around here, most freeway jams are caused by people not knowing how to merge and fucking the whole freeway over when they try to enter at 35 mph. Automated cars would be much better at merging.

                They would also take interchange ramps at speed instead of slowing down too, which is the primary cause of fucking up a particular five mile stretch of freeway around here. So yes, traffic would get better with automated cars.
            • by fgouget ( 925644 )

              When I worked in Paris, I lived in the suburbs surrounding Paris and worked in another one.

              Great. Since you're not entering Paris you can take your car as usual. See not a problem for you. Now just stop ranting.

              In my car, it was a solid 20 minutes, and I never caught the flu.

              There's also flu shots [connexionfrance.com] for that. They cost a mere 10€ and 65% of that is reimbursed. By the way, what's the point of going to an office where you are all alone? What? You were not alone at the office? How did your car help you to not catch the flu from your crazy public-transport-using colleagues?

              • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

                Flu shots are based on a guess each year of which flu strains to guard against. They've gotten the guess wrong some years, and people ended up with the flu whether they got the shot or not. If you have a weakened immune system, this is a big problem.

                • by fgouget ( 925644 )

                  Flu shots are based on a guess each year of which flu strains to guard against. They've gotten the guess wrong some years, and people ended up with the flu whether they got the shot or not. If you have a weakened immune system, this is a big problem.

                  The GP seems to think taking the car is a valid alternative to taking a flu shot. That's just crazy. It's not public transportation you must avoid: it's everyone, starting with your kids if they go to school!

        • by fnj ( 64210 )

          Nailed it with "or carry cargo". Every week I drive to the supermarket and pick up 20-30 kg of stuff[*]. It pretty well maxes out my Golf trunk. I couldn't possibly lug that stuff even 30 meters, let alone 10 km to take it home. No; sorry; not even with a hopelessly cumbersome cart. I'm 69 and pretty-well busted-down. I'm doing pretty well just to walk through the store and COLLECT the stuff. And no, nobody will deliver it, even if I had two pennies to rub together to pay them with.

          You can say I'm not worth

          • Re:But... (Score:4, Informative)

            by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday December 08, 2016 @07:25AM (#53445297) Journal

            Every week I drive to the supermarket and pick up 20-30 kg of stuff[*].

            Why do you do this? I haven't done a big supermarket shop in person for over 10 years. It takes 10-20 minutes to drive each way, an hour wandering around the shop, I have to queue for the checkouts, and it's just a horrible experience. All of the major supermarket chains deliver and it takes about 10-20 minutes to do the shop online (5 minutes for a routine shop where I'm just adding stuff from my favourites) and then it's delivered to my door, by a van that's delivering to a dozen other people on the way.

            I'm doing pretty well just to walk through the store and COLLECT the stuff. And no, nobody will deliver it, even if I had two pennies to rub together to pay them with.

            Delivery from most supermarkets here is free and even from the rest it's far cheaper than the cost of driving there, even if you don't factor in the cost of your time.

          • by pereric ( 528017 )

            I put about 20-30 kg of stuff in my bike panniers. Or you could perhaps get an cargo bike. I know a grandmother here in town who got one to transport her grandkids. 30 kg for 10 km isn't much; you could get an electric one if the distance or hills are an issue. Probably beats a owning a car in most ways if you don't driver longer than that daily. I live in Uppsala, 60 degrees north in Sweden, Europe (and manage a pool with 25 vehicles; both bikes and bike trailers). But people seems to start using cargo bik

          • Re:But... (Score:4, Interesting)

            by jwdb ( 526327 ) on Thursday December 08, 2016 @03:45PM (#53447833)

            Every week I drive to the supermarket and pick up 20-30 kg of stuff

            This is a key cultural difference between Europeans and Americans, and it doesn't get pointed out enough. When I lived in Europe, I'd stop by the store almost every day on my way home and by what I needed for the next 24-48 hours, which'd always fit in just one bag (drank tap water). Living in the US now, I've gotten out of the habit and instead tend to buy in bulk.

            If there were more smaller supermarkets/butchers/grocers/etc more widely and evenly distributed in the US, then we wouldn't have to "carry cargo" at that scale. That's neither a quick nor an easy change to make, however.

    • Re:But... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by itsme1234 ( 199680 ) on Thursday December 08, 2016 @05:23AM (#53445079)

      people having a car don't really care about saving a couple of euros to travel within Paris/suburbs

      I don't know about France but in Germany those "few euros" quickly add up to something that looks more like a fine precisely design to discourage the use of public transportation. One-way one person is around 5 euros for anything but the shortest stretch (you can easily pay 4.65 euro even for just one stop if crossing the tariff zones). And there's no cheaper option for a return ticket so you're looking at 20 euros for a return trip for two persons. It just doesn't compare with 1 euro in gas plus 1-1.5 euro parking (if needed).

      Plus no matter if there is no inflation, no matter if the prices for energy and gas drop the prices for public transportation go up like 4% each time I check...

      The way it is and because of loss aversion many people consider public transport not something cheap that lacks comfort but rather some expense they wouldn't do unless they're forced (like car in the shop or they can't drive because of some medical problem, or they want to drink something, etc).

      • I think that this is less of a problem in Paris, but it's crazy in some other places. I used to live in Swansea, and for the last few years I lived there the cost of a day ticket was less than most fares (which the drivers knew, so they'd give you the day pass if you asked for most things). At £2.30/day, it wasn't too bad, but for 3-4 of you it was often cheaper to get a taxi. We went back a few months ago and it was cheaper for one person to get a taxi for shortish hops than to take the bus and th
      • One-way one person is around 5 euros for anything but the shortest stretch (you can easily pay 4.65 euro even for just one stop if crossing the tariff zones). And there's no cheaper option for a return ticket so you're looking at 20 euros for a return trip for two persons. It just doesn't compare with 1 euro in gas plus 1-1.5 euro parking (if needed).

        Well, I don't know where you live, but I have a lot of experience in Hamburg, Stuttgart, and Munich - not exactly known as cheap cities -, and spending 5 EUR on any one-way travel in the extended inner city is nearly impossible. I'd agree that it is still too expensive, but its not as bad as you say. For EUR 20 you can typically get a 5-person all-day unlimited ticket.

        I'm glad if your car does not depreciate, needs neither oil changes nor other service, is untaxed, and the insurance is free. Otherwise, c

        • Well, I don't know where you live, but I have a lot of experience in Hamburg, Stuttgart, and Munich - not exactly known as cheap cities -, and spending 5 EUR on any one-way travel in the extended inner city is nearly impossible.

          Maybe your experience is outdated. Specifically if you just cross a "circle" for Munich the one-way ticket is 5.40 ... wait just for the next 2 days because then it goes up to 5.60, they were probably thinking it's too cheap...

          Note that what they call "Inner District/Munich" is 4 cir

          • Well, I don't know where you live, but I have a lot of experience in Hamburg, Stuttgart, and Munich - not exactly known as cheap cities -, and spending 5 EUR on any one-way travel in the extended inner city is nearly impossible.

            Maybe your experience is outdated. Specifically if you just cross a "circle" for Munich the one-way ticket is 5.40 ... wait just for the next 2 days because then it goes up to 5.60, they were probably thinking it's too cheap...

            Note that what they call "Inner District/Munich" is 4 circles and if you go again to the same circle you have to count it again. Like you go 2-1-2 it is 3 circles = 8.40 EUR.

            I'm sorry, but that is wrong, and I hope you haven't overspend for long. There is a significant difference between rings and zones. There are just 4 zones (the coloured ones on this plan [mvv-muenchen.de]). For single-trip tickets, you only count the number of zones, not the number of rings. Anything in the white zone (which is all of the built-up area of Munich) is just one zone, and is (currently) EUR 2.70 per trip. The most you can pay is EUR 10.80, which is for "4+" zones, and allows you to travel, say, from Tutzing to t

    • The just need to buy an electric or hybrid, they aren't that much more expensive. Problem solved.

    • by fgouget ( 925644 )

      Many people drive a car in order not to use public transportation...

      This seems like a very American sentiment (i.e. it always seems to be the first thing people say on Slashdot, and only on Slashdot). I don't know any one like that though I guess some of the very rich who would never mix with the plebes think that way. Most people they use their car because, for their particular case, it's the faster means of transport, just as for many others it's the public transport that's the faster and less irritating means of transport.

      And people having a car don't really care about saving a couple of euros to travel within Paris/suburbs.

      That's certainly true but it makes it less of a h

  • by XSportSeeker ( 4641865 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2016 @11:56PM (#53444399)

    Avoiding some confusion in the comments, Paris is making all public transportation free for one or two days alone, to reduce the ammount of smog/particulate matter in the air. No, they are not making public transportation free indefinitely, this is an emergency measure... not all that different from similar stuff that China and India already did.

    These are predicted to happen in several cities around the world in particular atmospheric conditions... if things keeps getting worse though, you can predict that soon, along with heavy snow days, we'll also have heavy smog days for some cities.

    • IL had free rides to all senior citizens 2008-2011 costs forced them to cut it to just low-income seniors.

      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by ScentCone ( 795499 )

        IL had free rides to all senior citizens 2008-2011 costs forced them to cut it to just low-income seniors.

        No, there are no free rides. What you mean is, "Illinois decided to have taxpayers buy rides for certain people from 2008 to 2011" ... and ... "they couldn't get the taxpayers to pay even more, so they cut down the number of rides the taxpayers were buying to a more select group of those certain people."

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          No, you mean that Illinois decided to serve the elderly population by accommodating their situation and get them off the roads since many of them were forced to continue driving, thereby putting everybody at risk, but a bunch of twats decided that was just unacceptable, but they couldn't quite find a way to kill the entire, program, let alone turn them into Soylent Green.

          • What does that even mean? Forced to continue driving? Driving is one of the most expensive hobbies in the world, and if you can afford to drive you can afford the far cheaper option of public transportation and taxi's.

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by EmeraldBot ( 3513925 )

              What does that even mean? Forced to continue driving? Driving is one of the most expensive hobbies in the world, and if you can afford to drive you can afford the far cheaper option of public transportation and taxi's.

              ... The average American living in the suburbs is ~ 20-30 miles from the nearest city / shopping area. If you feel like you can make a 30 mile hike and back in less than a day, at the age of 85, you're welcome to it. But for many elderly people, who live alone, driving is not a luxury - it's a necessity, because there's often no other way for them to get basic needs. (medical care, food, etc.)

              • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

                by Anonymous Coward

                ... The average American living in the suburbs is ~ 20-30 miles from the nearest city / shopping area.

                Where the hell did you get that statistic from? If you're 20-30 miles from a mall you're no longer in the suburbs, you're considered to be rural.

                • ...because the location of malls is the final arbiter of what is rural and what isn't.
                • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

                  that's a suburb, if it's just 20-30 miles.

                  you know what's rural? driving 100km both ways just to buy booze.
                  that's Lapland for you.

                  anyways, for a lot of elderly people the choice is to either keep driving or move into an old peoples cesspit. free public transportation doesn't really come to the play even, if the bus is 10 km away.

                  what's a mall anyways? and look, I lived in a 23 000 people about city in Finland and having a car was pretty much non-optional even if you lived 2km from the "mall"(highschool, sh

            • "if you can afford to drive you can afford the far cheaper option of public transportation and taxi's."

              Have you done the numbers? Really? Because I've done and no: taxis are not cheaper than cars, not by a far margin like somewhere from 300% to 1000% more expensive. Other means, yes, can be cheaper... usually if you don't value your time. And while car pollution can shorten your life, so also do sleep deprivation from having to wake up one to one hour and a half earlier to go to workplace on public transp

              • While you are correct that you couldn't economically use taxis to replace all you driving, in some circumstances the mixture of walking, cycling, public transport and taxis/Uber can be cheaper than owning and operating a car. It depends on how much you travel and where you need to go. I also did the sums and decided to not replace my car when it gave up the ghost. I found that it was cheaper for me to use the other transport options.

                Whenever I have moved to a new home, I have always chosen a location that i

          • and they sent an man who did nothing to prison. At least we still have all kids

      • To be clear about exactly what happened.

        In 2007~2008 the CTA was having financial difficulties. The Illinois legislature made a deal to bailout the CTA from some financial difficulties.

        At the last minute Governor Blago, who is now in jail for trying to sell a Senate set, thew in an additional condition: free rides on all Il public transportation for handicapped and seniors.

        It really pissed the legislature off because they had to redo the whole budget, but it got passed. He looked like a hero to seniors and

        • by Kergan ( 780543 ) on Thursday December 08, 2016 @01:33AM (#53444635)

          Eventually he got inmpeached and the new Gov discovered that free rides were not sustainable. So they means tested it.

          Dunno how they discovered it wasn't, but FWIW it might be an unfortunate (mis-)find.

          Public transportation where I live is free for seniors. Trains, metros, busses, boats, etc., in all cities and between all cities. Everything except airplanes. It surprised me somewhat when I came here for the first time, and it certainly surprised my parents when they first came (since as EU seniors they didn't need to pay either), but apparently this has been going on since the communist era.

          There arguably is a cost. Perhaps one can shrug it off as in "meh, the bus is scheduled anyway. The only point in time where it might be problematic is during rush hours when you need to field a few more busses." Or perhaps not.

          Either way, the positive side effects are observable when you care to look: seniors tend to visit their children and grand children across the country instead of it being the other way around like where I'm from - and more often, at that. You see seniors everywhere, and the contrast in their behavior is palpable when I compare this with the other two dozen or so countries I've lived in. When they do go out they can afford to go to cafes and restaurants, give some money to their kids and grand kids, etc. Plus nanny savings that allow single moms to work more than part-time where applicable.

          I've no idea if the net economic balance is positive, but when you factor in the quality of life side effects across generations it certainly seems worth doing.

          • There arguably is a cost. Perhaps one can shrug it off as in "meh, the bus is scheduled anyway. The only point in time where it might be problematic is during rush hours when you need to field a few more busses." Or perhaps not.

            The set of people that would be paying for the service but now dont have to is the cost. This cost is pushed on to the tax payers, and the bulk of state and local tax dollars are surely paid by the middle class and the poor since Illinois has a single-rate income tax (a flat tax.)

            This progressive policy has a regressive consequence. Free rides should be given to the poorest people, not the oldest people.

            • by mvdwege ( 243851 )

              The obvious solution is of course to address the regressive part of the problem and abolish the flat tax.

            • by dywolf ( 2673597 )

              a) the poorest people and the oldest people are often the same people. there is significant overlap
              b) the bus/train is going to run anyway. the difference between an empty seat and an unpaying seat is zero. there is no net increase in cost to taxpayers.
              c) drivers past a certain age are a liability on the roads. keeping them off the roads is a boon to taxpayers.
              d) therefore, given A B and C, seniors who are able to still be out and about and not just shut in their homes or a nursing facility are a boon to th

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by JackieBrown ( 987087 )

            the new Gov discovered that free rides were not sustainable.

            Dunno how they discovered it wasn't, but FWIW it might be an unfortunate (mis-)find

            I know! It's too bad the greedy bus driver don't drive seniors and poor people for no paycheck. I guess bus drivers really don't care about the poor and the seniors. To be clear, these bus drivers should also be paying for the gas and maintenance.

            • by ghoul ( 157158 )

              Here in San Francisco Public Transport Drivers are some of the most overpaid people. They get better pay than Software Engineers with 4 years of college and have fantastic pension schemes. I was talking to one of the drivers of our corporate Shuttle. he drove for VTA for 20 years and now has a pension for life. He can live on the pension but he is bored so he drives for our company's corporate shuttle. What he made as a driver was way more than what Software engineers make in the first 5 years of their car

              • Don't even look at the pay extorted by the port of Oakland longshoremen. They get paid more than senior developer/project leads.

                You have to inherit the job from a family member though.

          • by ghoul ( 157158 )

            This is a benefit which would help Native born more than Immigrants as Immigrant grandparents are probably overseas.

    • Maybe turn the Eiffel Tower into a giant ionic collector?

    • I'm in Phoenix, Az and we've already got smog days. I can't think of a good reason not to have free public transportation besides the classic line "But who's gonna pay for it?"...
      • I can't think of a good reason not to have free public transportation besides the classic line "But who's gonna pay for it?"...

        How about "Will this solve the problem I am trying to solve?"

        The answer is probably no, that it will not solve your smog problem. It would have a minimal impact on particulate emissions that are due to transportation. Getting even 5% of the people to use public transport that do not use it already would be a huge success, and that at most reduces emissions by.... 5%.

        Public transport is already cheaper than driving. Cost isnt enough incentive. You would have to pay people to ride to provide enough incen

      • One issue with public transportation in the US (not so much in the EU) is that everyone assumes that the primary incentive to get people to use it must be cost. As a result, it's usually run on an absurdly low budget, given revenues are only a fraction of costs, and inevitably it ends up not being terribly useful. Which means few people ride it, at any cost.

        If you want public transportation to be popular, you need to make it useful. Make it useful enough, and people will use it, even if the prices are si

    • Maybe if they could get the cars to drive faster and faster around the Arc - they could generate a wind and push the smog out of the city!

      All cars must be equipped with a Fin on the roof. Whether it be a human Fin flapping his arms or a shark-like Fin probably doesn't make much difference.

    • by godrik ( 1287354 )

      I am not sure why they are talking about that. Similar measures happen almost every year in Paris. Pollution goes high and they shut down local traffic for a few days and promote public transportation as an alternative.
      It is the first time I see it on Slashdot, but it happens frequently.

  • by Smiddi ( 1241326 ) on Thursday December 08, 2016 @01:42AM (#53444673)
    Are VW Diesel's still allowed on the road?
  • by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Thursday December 08, 2016 @02:31AM (#53444773) Journal

    Allow service vehicles, public transportation, cabs and bicycles, and everyone will be happy.
    This will be unpopular with North Americans (US and Canadians alike) who live their lives in cars, but in Europe we can conceive of an existence where you don't need to hop into a car every time you have to go from point A to point B.

    • Really?

      I have found some of the worst traffic congestion in European cities, and have found the public transport systems generally rather poor for anything other than either local or intercity transport (ie: almost completely ignoring medium distance needs).
      Of course I assume YOU live in a central apartment, work not far from there, and work in a job where you dont have to move much around, right? is that pretty much it? No one else should live differently to YOU?

      Well, I live on outside one side of a city w

      • Simple solution. Move or change cities.
    • Sure just put endless amounts of free parking easily accessible out side your city. Then make magical transporters to get everything larger than one grocery bag home, oh and don't forget those who travel outside a city but live in them, let them pack their cars with 20 trips of public transport.

      • by Aliks ( 530618 ) on Thursday December 08, 2016 @05:34AM (#53445093)

        Sure, and put lots of local stores around town so that you don't need to drive to some out-of-town megastore.

        Maybe even some cycle lanes so that people can get some exercise.

        Actually most UK cities do have endless free parking outside the city with a park and ride service to the centre.

        Socialism huh?

      • Then make magical transporters

        They're called "delivery vans". It's kind of like magic: you go to your magical blinkenlight box and wiggle the wiggly thing and press the buttons. Then at the designated time, a van arrives with your stuff in JUST LIKE MAGIC!!!

        to get everything larger than one grocery bag home

        Are you really so weedy that you can't carry more than one grocery bag?

        Or you know, get one of those wheelie shopping baskets. I mean they used to be the exclusive preserve of little old ladies with head

        • If everyone uses the wheelie shopping baskets, then bus occupancy is going to have to drop to accommodate them. I agree that those are still silly arguments if you live in the city, you can just have things delivered. But what happens when you leave the city? Auto rental fees are still abusive. It cost me fifty bucks to use a U-Haul pickup for firewood for a couple of hours. It doesn't take many of those to pay off a little old Japanese pickup.

          • But what happens when you leave the city?

            But the whole article is about reducing car traffic in cities to reduce the smog. It makes more sense to have a car if you live in a more rural location and smog isn't a problem.

            Plus also, you have to be really pretty rural before you can't get things delieved.

            Auto rental fees are still abusive. It cost me fifty bucks to use a U-Haul pickup for firewood for a couple of hours.

            Well, yes the per-journey incrementalcost is much higher for a rental. But I don't own a c

            • Plus also, you have to be really pretty rural before you can't get things delieved.

              You don't have to be very far before it becomes much more expensive, though. Since I live in a crappy little county with a crappy little retail store selection, I can only have most large things shipped to a freight depot. Some people will ship them to the foot of my driveway, but they can't get a big truck up it.

              This is not about me, though, this is about the city. And if you seldom leave it, and you happen to live where you can walk to work or where public transportation works for you then yes, it surely

      • I used to walk half way across Reading, in the UK, from Sainsburys in the city center to my flat, carrying four or more bags of groceries. Older people had little carts, resembling carry on bags (the type with a slide out handle and two wheels) you'd see in an airport, to do the job.

        And in the event I really had too much weight in those bags to contemplate walking that distance, I'd take a bus.

        Why would you think you'd need a magical transportation device for more than one grocery bag?

    • Europe would look exactly the same if its entire social geography had been designed with the motor vehicle in mind.
      • Europe would look exactly the same if its entire social geography had been designed with the motor vehicle in mind.

        I don't disagree.

      • Europe would look exactly the same if its entire social geography had been designed with the motor vehicle in mind.

        Of course it would not. Roadways in cities would be wider, at a minimum.

    • Allow service vehicles, public transportation, cabs and bicycles, and everyone will be happy.

      Okay, sure. Just as soon as I figure out how to get my SUV registered as a "service vehicle"...

      Don't even try to tell me it won't happen... There's widespread fraud just in handicapped placards [youtube.com], because parking a few feet away is too much hassle for some people. You think the ultra-wealthy will resign themselves to riding the bus with the peasants? Not a chance, they'll find any means to maintain their status, pr

  • by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Thursday December 08, 2016 @04:07AM (#53444959)

    Authorities have said only drivers with odd-numbered registration plates can drive in the capital region on Wednesday. ....

    Great System. Rich self entitled bastards with multiple cars get to drive whenever they want, working stiffs trying to get to their jobs have another burden. Also, if people have multiple vehicles and one is a small relatively clean and efficient vehicle and the other is a large dirty low mileage vehicle, this law tells them to drive the dirty inefficient vehicle some of the time.

    • Re:Great System (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ledow ( 319597 ) on Thursday December 08, 2016 @04:39AM (#53444987) Homepage

      That system's in use all over the world.

      The administrative burden of JUST ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE is far too high and would actually cost you more.

      On Thursdays (I think), you can't drive a truck through Italy. Same thing.

      As soon as you get into registered lists, issuing stickers or permits, etc. it gets so expensive that you don't want to do it.

      You can do it fairly, cheaply, or easily enforceable. Pick any two.

      • As soon as you get into registered lists, issuing stickers or permits, etc. it gets so expensive that you don't want to do it.

        Not necessarily - ANPR is a new word I've started seeing on signs in and around London: Automatic Number Plate Recognition. It is used for many things: police cars can identify the owner of a car in front of them and see if they paid road tax, have a valid insurance etc, Transport for London can see who enters the Congestion Charge Zone, and there is this new thing called Average Speed Check - and so on. If it works for these purposes, how hard would it be to use it to check whether people are allowed to us

      • by fgouget ( 925644 )

        The administrative burden of JUST ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE is far too high and would actually cost you more.

        And yet next year it's supposed to get replaced with [crit-air.fr] which is an environmental badge that one will have to have on the windshield to get into Paris on days such as these. Cars will get a different color badge based on the environmental standards they implement. The color coding will make it easy for the police to spot cars that are not allowed and to stop + fine them.

    • This is for two days. It's not likely even the ultra rich are going to buy a new Mercedes specifically to bypass this rule when the maximum in fines they'll suffer will be EUR35. Not unless Europe has seen some significant deflation lately and EUR34 is the cost of a brand new Mercedes.

  • by DatbeDank ( 4580343 ) on Thursday December 08, 2016 @05:45AM (#53445105)
    And the pollution isn't that bad at all. It's on par with Boston in the winter. It's nice that I don't have to pay to ride the subway, but this reporting and reaction is hyperbole.
  • I remember riding one of the buses. True story.

  • by Max_W ( 812974 ) on Thursday December 08, 2016 @01:49PM (#53447107)
    I was recently in the town of Saas-Fee in the canton of Valais in Sitzerland: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    All fossil fuel vehicles are banned from this town. There is a special underground garage to park cars outside.

    People, the life in 19th century was better than now. Clean air, quiet splendid streets without grey rubber dust from the cars' tires, nice houses, all districts of the town are equally prestigious, as all of them are clean and calm, without steel rivers of cars and clouds of toxic smoke.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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