Riding without a ticket: geography of free fare public transport policy in Poland

Author:  Daniel Štraub

Type of publication: Article peer review

A policy instrument promoting a free fare public transport policy (FFPT) has recently been put into practice in 66 municipalities across Poland. By contributing to the academic debate on the concept of FFPT (e.g. Kębłowski 2019), the main goal of this paper is to create a typology of the schemes where FFPT is in operation in Poland based on analyses of a geographical mapping of these projects. This study analyses how different municipalities are implementing the concept in order to define a typology of FFTP projects and to understand how the development landscape of the urban transport system is changing in the light of free fare transport policies, topics which are not fully covered in the academic literature. The findings confirm that there is a new dynamic in the development of urban transport systems and permit the identification of key characteristics of this trend. Besides the typology of implementation of FFPT, the study also presents an up-to-date inventory of FFPT projects with the key characteristic features of each system. Although the study does not provide specific recommendations regarding the introduction of a FFPT policy, it represents a good starting point for future and more detailed studies. Such studies are necessary in order to understand the role of FFPT not only in the context of the development of a given transport system, its impact on modal split, and travel behaviour, but also to uncover the different politics which lie behind them.

Štraub, D. 2019. Urban Development Issues, Volume 64, Issue 1, Pages 17–27, eISSN 2544-6258
DOI: 10.2478/udi-2019-0020.