One City's Radical Offer: Trade in Your Car for a Lifetime of Free Public Transit


Photo credit: Mejor en Tranvia

How's this for a radical plan for relieving congestion in a traffic-choked city? Officials in Murcia, Spain have made anyone who's tired of suffering through a grinding commute an offer they can't refuse: Trade in your car for an unlimited pass for the shiny new public transit system. How does this work? Why, this 10-second video will explain:

While it's a novel concept, and sure to clear at least a few of the clunkers off the road, what really impresses about the campaign is how creative and involved the promotion for the plan is -- the city really went all-out in communicating the importance of the initiative to the public.

Beth Buczynski explains at Shareable:

Murcia started its car-free campaign by demonstrating one of the main disadvantages of owning a car: you have to have a place to park it. Using humor to drive the point home, the City set up a series of cars parked in impossible places around town, such as atop other cars.
That's what you see in the promo photo at the top of the post.

There are evidently other arms of the campaign as well, involving social media stunts (of course) and so forth. But what really inspires here is the fact that a city has committed to investing in a more livable, more sustainable development plan. Cities looking to improve their urban centers could go one step further and make the traded cars' value tax deductible. Regardless, at a time when interest in car ownership is fading in the West (even in the US!), such initiatives could further help swing the needle towards trust in mass transit.

First, of course, we'll just need good, reliable and universally accessible public transit in all our cities.

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