Last Turn Your Turn, Robert Rauschenberg

The mission of Nurture Nature Foundation (NNF) is to help in resolving what is possibly the most serious challenge the world faces today:
the intensifying conflict between the indispensable goals of environmental protection and economic development.

Transit Reform News

NEWS INCLUDED HERE: This page chronicles two main areas of transit work by NNF. The first is our free transit project, which began in 2007 and generated a number of news articles. The second is the development and application of the Balanced Transportation Analyzer (BTA), which was initially created to evaluate the costs and benefits of free transit, but was later expanded to allow analysis of all pricing options. The BTA is a publicly available and exhaustively vetted spreadsheet that has provided an indispensable foundation for the development and refinement of traffic pricing in New York in recent years. It was heavily relied on to develop the MoveNY plan, formed the basis of recommendations made by Governor Cuomo's Fix NYC Advisory Panel, and is currently being used to explore and test the limits of congestion pricing options for legislation. In addition to coverage of the twin topics of free transit and the BTA, several articles of related interest concerning NNF’s involvement in transit reform are also included here.

April 26, 2024 Charles Komanoff, who developed the BTA, penned an article on the history of how the "transit miracle" of congestion pricing legislation in New York came to be.

April 4, 2019  :

A leading transportation expert recognized the role NNF's founder played in paving the way to adoption of congestion pricing in "Ted Kheel Ted Kheel Finally Beats Robert Moses – Congestion Pricing and The 50 Year War To Put Subways Over Cars."

April 1, 2019 In an article entitled "Now Fix the Subways, Congestion Pricing is a Huge Leap Forward, Fifty Years in the Making", the Daily News names NNF's founder, Ted Kheel, as one of the leading voices from the past whose work helped make congestion pricing a reality in 2019.

April 1, 2019 New York becomes the first state in the nation to adopt congestion pricing, leading the way for other cities to do the same.

January 19, 2018 Governor Cuomo's Fix NYC Advisory Panel, which made the recommendations that paved the way for adoption of congestion pricing in New York the following year, cited the BTA as the basis for the panel's conclusions in its final Report

November 28, 2017 The New York Times, in an article entitled "New York's Tilt Towards Congestion Pricing was Years in the Making, described some of the history that preceded Governor Cuomo's announcement that "congestion pricing is an idea whose time has come."  The article describes Charles Komanoff's BTA, funded by Nurture Nature Foundation, as a spreadsheet that "made congestion pricing more than just an idea."

February 10, 2017 The Downtown Express reported on the appointment of Sam Schwartz as the Theodore Kheel Visiting Fellow in Transportation Policy at Hunter College in an article titled "Hunter College on Transit Sam: He's a jolly good fellow, noone can deny."

January 31, 2017 The Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College announced that Sam Schwartz will serve as the inaugural Theodore Kheel Visiting Fellow in Transportation Policy. President Raab stated: "We could not be more pleased to be welcoming one of New York’s leading traffic and transportation experts to launch a fellowship named for the late, extraordinary Ted Kheel, and made possible by the Foundation he created."

October 15, 2016 The Balanced Transportation Analyzer is featured in a presentation to the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association addressing the question "Will Double Gridlock Paralyze New York? An Economist Examines Our Transport Infrastructure Crisis."

June 28, 2016 Nurture Nature Foundation committed $450,000 over a three year period to the creation of position for a Visiting Fellow in Transportation Policy at Hunter College, to be named after NNF's founder, Theodore Kheel.

April 13, 2016 A new generation is introduced to the uses of the Balanced Transportation Analyzer in a presentation to a Transportation Economics class at NYU's Stern School of Business, called "Will Double Gridlock Paralyze New York? An Economist Examines Our Transport Infrastructure Crisis."

February 17, 2015 After several years of study and coalition building, Move NY announces its final fair traffic pricing plan, using traffic figures based on the BTA, which it describes as “an extensively researched, multi-layered analysis of nearly every conceivable variable affecting transportation and traffic demand in New York City.” The BTA, it notes has been vetted by NYS Division of Budget, NYCDOT, MTA, Citizens Budget Commission and Regional Plan Association, and has.been reviewed as well by the infractructure solutions firm HNTB, which found it “’comprehensive, broad-based and realistic”. See MoveNY Fair Plan (at p.20).

2014 A report on “Congestion Pricing for New York City”, relying extensively on the Balanced Transportation Analyzer, is published in “International Best Practices for Congestion Charge in Low Emissions Zone”.

2013 Charles Komanoff is invited to speak at the “International Forum on Economic Policies for Traffic Congestion” in China on New York City's political experience with congestion pricing. His presentation, for which the BTA provided “the analytic and quantitative foundation” can be downloaded here.

2013 An article by British science journalist Max Glaskin, featured in a cover story of Traffic Technology International, spotlights the Balanced Transportation Analyzer traffic-pricing spreadsheet. 

April 13, 2012 A presentation based on the Balanced Transportation Analyzer, made at New York University Law School's Milbank Tweed Forum and entitled, "How NYC Is Breaking The Gridlock On Transportation Policy," can be downloaded here.

January 20, 2012  Reuters publishes an Op Ed by Komanoff using information from the Balanced Transportation Analyzer to assess the impact of additional taxis on NYC traffic. 

July 26, 2010 In For Whom the Bell Tolls a columnist for Toronto's Eyeweekly magazine writes that "The mayoral candidates’ transportation strategies have so far lacked anything like vision or pizzazz. Here’s a grand idea ­ whose time has come ­ for the taking." The grand idea is to adapt the Kheel-Komanoff Plan to Toronto.

May 26, 2010 New York Times City Room writes: "In the modern American technocracy, he who wields the spreadsheet is king. And so it is that Charles Komanoff ... approaches the intractable problem of traffic in the city: with a spreadsheet so huge, it gets its own profile in June issue of Wired." Click here for the rest, including the Times' concise summary of the Kheel-Komanoff transit and toll pricing plan.

May 25, 2010 Noted financial writer Felix Salmon reports in The Man Who Could Unsnarl Manhattan Traffic on our work on traffic pricing and free transit for New York City. The article traces the intersection of Ted Kheel's and Charles's lifetime of urban transit advocacy and conveys the intricacies of the traffic-analysis spreadsheet, the Balanced Transportation Analyzer (BTA), that Charles has created under the aegis of the Nurture Nature Foundation. The core of the article (and the ethical basis of congestion pricing) is Felix's engaging explication of how the BTA quantifies the social delay costs caused by one additional car trip into the Manhattan Central Business District.

March 15, 2010 A report by Charles Komanoff appeared on Andy Revkin’s influential New York Times blog. In the article, Komanoff reported on interest in traffic pricing and a balanced transportation policy in one of China's largest cities. The article, entitled Dot Earth: Postcard from a Guangzhou Traffic Jam can be accessed here.

Feb. 23, 2010 The New York Transportation Journal, from the Rudin Center on Transportation published "Time Thieves: A New Computer-Driven Trafic model Reveals the 'Time Costs' of Traffic," by Charles Komanoff and Will Fisher. The article is a compelling case study on the delay costs of traffic, based on use of the ever-more sophisticated “balanced transportation analyzer” (BTA). A summary of the article is available here.

Oct. 16, 2009 In "Wanted: Crowd-Sourced Transportation Analysis", a follow up article to his October 13 Streetblog post, Komanoff explained how the Balanced Transportation Analyzer "handles just about every issue ever raised on this blog about congestion pricing."

October 13, 2009 In "Paradox, Schmaradox. Congestion Pricing Works," an article that generated considerable discussion on Streetblog, Charles Komanoff forcefully critiqued David Owen's attack on congestion pricing in the Wall Street Journal. 

August 18, 2009 In a Streetsblog article called "Time-Polluting Daily New Honcho Goes Public," BTA creator Charles Komanoff excoriated a traveler who purposely took a longer route into the city to avoid tolls. In support, Komanoff pointed out the cost to fellow travelers imposed by that choice, noting that that the average 11-mile rush-hour car trip into the Manhattan Central Business District and back out again creates three to four hours of aggregate delays to others travelling in cars, trucks and buses on the same roads at the same time.

August 6, 2009 A new blog on infrastructure included an article by Steve Anderson entitled “New York: Could congestion pricing lead to free transit? See for yourself, with the Balanced Transportation Analyzer."

August 4, 2009 In "Bloomberg Tests Free-Transit Waters," Charles Komanoff praised Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to make cross town buses free, and discussed the merits of the proposal, as well as the merits of making buses free in the city generally.

August 3, 2009 Mayor Bloomberg today proposed eliminating the fare entirely on New York City’s cross town buses. The Mayor had previously recognized that free mass transit was in the public’s interest, [click here and here], a position he voiced shortly after Kheel proposed free transit in early 2007.

July 23, 2009 The Tri-State Transportation Campaign posted an article entitled Build Your Own Toll and Transit Plan With the Balanced Transportation Analyzer, following a presentation by Charles Komanoff of his newest version of “his masterpiece” Balanced Transportation Analyzer (BTA) the day before.

July 22, 2009 Charles Komanoff presented the latest version of the Balanced Transportation Analyzer (BTA) to a packed room at the Manhattan headquarters of Sam Schwartz Engineering.


July 16, 2009  Crain’s Insider, in an article entitled "Congestion Pricing Gets a New Weapon", stated that “Traffic engineers Charles Komanoff and Sam Schwartz are unveiling a new traffic modeling system that Komanoff says better predicts the impact of tolls and transit fares and of driving into Manhattan.”The system, Crain’s wrote, “could have a significant impact the next time congestion pricing, toll hikes, and fare increases are proposed.”

July 7, 2009 In an Op Ed in the Queen's Ledger city council candidate Medhanie Estiphanos, a Kheel plan enthusiast, wrote about the value of free transit coupled with congestion pricing in saving our environment.

July 3, 2009 On the Reuters’ blog, the economist Felix Salmon wrote about the Balanced Transportation Analyzer and the Kheel team’s research in an article entitled “ How driving a car into Manhattan costs $160.

June 2, 2009 City Council candidate Medhanie Estiphanos explained why he supports the Kheel Plan in an article entitled “Make Rides Free, For All Our Sakes”

May, 2009 The Institute for Urban Design has included "Fare-Free
Transit, An Immodest Proposal"
by Charles Komanoff in "The New York 2030 Notebook," (2008) edited by Jeff Byles and Olympia Kazi. The Notebook "provides an index to the contemporary discourse on the planning of New York", and is the first in a new series to be published by the Institute.

May, 2009 The Kheel team met over the last year with a number of public figures to describe how progress toward free transit could help balance our city’s transportation system; in the spring 2009 Medhanie Estiphanos became the first candidate for city council to embrace the Kheel proposal.

May 7, 2009 Upon Albany’s passage of a watered down MTA rescue plan contemplating serial fare increases, Charles Komanoff penned an article for Streetsblog entitled "Albany’s Choice… or Ours” pointing out that Albany has thereby opened the door for a broad-based campaign to put an end to fare hikes and institute genuine transportation reform based on traffic pricing.

March 27, 2009 Streetsblog carried an article by BTA-creator Charles Komanoff entitled “Whither the MTA: Beyond the Failed Stopgap” addressing the economic toll to the city of the MTA fare-hike, in increased congestion and lost time.

Mar. 13, 2009 Newsday published an Op Ed by Ted Kheel and Charles Komanoff entitled "MTA Rescue Must be Effective and Equitable."

March 10, 2009 Streetsblog carried an article by Kheel team leader Charles Komanoff, entitled “Beyond Ravitch: Still Time for a Bolder Plan” outlining a proposal for funding the MTA that would include traffic pricing.

Feb. 29-Mar. 6, 2009 The Downtown Express, in discussing Sheldon Silver's advocacy of a $2 toll to help reduce the MTA budget deficit, quotes Charles Komanoff's statement that "The 'equation' of a bridge toll to a subway fare ought to be disturbing to any fair-minded New Yorker. ...For one thing, there's no 'fare-pooling' equivalent to car-pooling... For another, the congestion cost of each additional car trip into Manhattan is on the order of $30..., whereas the same for a subway ride is measured in pennies. Silver's equation flunks any moral algebra."

Feb. 27, 2009 In an AMNY article called "Step in the Right Direction" Ellis Hennican suggested that the next step for the city should be to reintroduce the concept of congestion pricing into transit thinking, as urged by transportation expert Charles Komanoff and long time transit advocate Ted Kheel.

Feb. 26, 2009 John Tierney, columnist for the New York Times Science section, relied on the Balanced Transportation Analyzer (“BTA”) to analyze the motor vehicle impact of Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to close off parts of the city to traffic. The article, entitled “Will a Car-Free Broadway Work,” quotes Charles Komanoff’s description of the BTA as “the first transparent and publicly available tool to gauge the varying impacts of changing the transportation options in a city with a dense central core, like New York.”

Feb 9, 2009 The Gotham Gazette posted an article by Charles Komanoff entitled "Free Buses, Cheaper Subways -- and a Solution to New York's Traffic".

Jan. 9, 2009 Streetsblog editor Ben Fried posted an article on the “New Low-Cost Transit Plan From Team Kheel-Komanoff.”

Jan. 7, 2009 The blog Grist, with a national readership, posted a story entitled “The freedom fee: The Kheel-Komanoff Plan: A congestion toll to liberate New York,” where Charles Komanoff describes a revenue-neutral fare-reduction/tolling plan.

Dec. 31, 2008 In its best of the year awards, the widely-read Streetsblog announced its award for "Best Out-of-the-Box Transportation Policy Thinking" would go to Charles Komanoff for the Kheel Plan and his Balanced Transportation Analyzer.

Dec. 26, 2008-Jan. 1, 2009 An editorial entitled “Better M.T.A. fixes,” carried in the weekly Downtown Express, stated “Another idea worth discussing comes from Ted Kheel, the well-respected retired labor mediator who wants very high traffic pricing fees to pay for lower and free transit fares depending on the time of day. Many dismiss this as fantasy, but Kathryn Wylde, who represents the city’s largest corporations, says it is easier to sell than the idea on the table.”

Dec. 16, 2008 Ted Kheel and Charles Komanoff testified before the New York City Council regarding the merits of the new Kheel Plan as an alternative to the Ravitch plan for funding the MTA. Their testimony can be accessed here and here.

Dec.12-18, 2008 The weekly Downtown Express carried an article on the Kheel plan alternative entitled “Fare hikes? How about free buses instead, plan asks.

December 10, 2008 Doug Henwood interviewed economist Charles Komanoff about Kheel Plan II in "Behind The News," an economics show on WBAI-FM, on 99.5 FM. 

Dec. 10, 2008 Streetsblog carried an article on Kheel’s alternative to the Ravitch plan entitled: "Kheel Plan 2 Seeks to Plug MTA Budget Gap". Streetsblog editor Ben Fried followed up the same day with a comprehensive interview about the plan with Kheel team economist Charles Komanoff.

Dec. 10, 2008 Ted Kheel sent a letters to Governor Paterson, as well as one to Assembly Speaker Silver, and one to State Senator Malcolm Smith explaining his alternative plan to address the MTA budget crisis.

Dec. 10, 2008  Ted Kheel released an alternative to the Ravitch Plan that generates over $1 billion in annual revenue for the MTA while helping to recapture billions of dollars for the local economy, reduce congestion, and bring free transit to all New Yorkers. For a summary of the plan, click here. For the press release, click here

Dec. 4, 2008 The New York Times City Room blog, in an article entitled "Reaction to Ravitch's M.T.A. Report" by William Neuman and Sewell Chan, reported Ted Kheel's position that "the proposed plan misses a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make meaningful, long-term change in our regional transportation system. Taxes and fare hikes, whether now or in the future, are 100% avoidable."

Nov. 21, 2008 In an article entitled “Kheel Planners: MTA Austerity a Recipe for Gridlock Hell”, Streetsblog reported on the impact the MTA’s proposed fare hike and service cuts would have on congestion, according to the latest research by the Kheel plan team.

Nov. 20, 2008: The New York Times, in a City Room blog by transit reporters William Neumann and Sewell Chan, reported that Ted Kheel blasted the MTA’s proposed 23 percent fare and toll increase as “a ticking time bomb that will explode in our vital but vulnerable transit system and damage the city’s and region’s economy.” The article also reported that the proposed increase will “drive 30,000 more cars into the city’s most congested streets, cause a 6 percent drop in subway ridership and a 4 percent drop in bus ridership, and reduce traffic speeds by 4 percent.”

September 16, 2008: Kheel's Open letter was noted in an article by the New York Sun.

September 15, 2008: Ted Kheel issued an Open Letter to the Ravitch Commission on the benefits of free transit and the relation between free transit and the funding issues facing the MTA.

Sept. 1-3, 2008 At the Fourteenth International Conference on Urban Transport and the Environment in Malta, Jane Ann Williams, director of education and training for multicultural affairs at Virginia Tech, presented a paper on balancing congestion pricing and free transit that was inspired by the Kheel Plan. The presentation sparked interest among urban planners abroad in assessing the model for use in their own nations/cities. Thus, in Spain, where the City of Madrid Planning Council is exploring approaches to reduce congestion, the lead research council member will make a presentation based on the Kheel Plan. Similarly, in New Zealand, an official in the National Office Performance Monitoring Manager NZ Transport Agency plans to assess the Kheel Plan for use in New Zealand.

July 23, 2008: In an article entitled "Give Mike Bloomberg the trains, too" in New York Daily News Opinions, Errol Louis recommended that "New York also should give serious consideration to a proposal by lawyer Theodore Kheel that would substantially boost parking, taxi and driving charges in Manhattan - and use the money to make the entire subway system free."

July 3, 2008: An article by Charles Komanoff appeared in Streetsblog entitled "High Gas Prices Won't Cure Gridlock".

June 27, 2008 The New York Observer published an article entitled
"Transportation Advocates Agree: The M.T.A. Is in 'Deep Doo-Doo" which quoted Kheel's views on the politics of congestion pricing as follows: "The promotion, I thought, was in the wrong order. If you start out with free transit, you start out with something people would welcome."

June 26, 2008 Ted Kheel joined a panel on "Traffic Congestion and the Future of Mass Transit," which was moderated by Assemblyman Mike Kellner and included Jeff Zupan of the Regional Plan Association and Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign. Kheel’s presentation can be viewed below:

June 26, 2008 Ted Kheel spoke to the New York City Transit Riders Council about free transit and his history of working for transit reform.

June 24, 2008 Ted Kheel is quoted in an article in the Observer on transit financing entitled "Next Stop: Trouble". The article quotes Kheel as calling on the Port Authority, with its great revenue-raising capacity, to spend more of its money on regional transportation projects. According to Kheel, "That agency is the ideal agency to come to grips with this problem of congestion."

June 13, 2008 The Sierra Club took note of the Kheel Plan in an article entitled "Pains, Trains, And Automobiles" published the Club's newsletter, "The Green Life".

June 3, 2008 Charles Komanoff gave a special presentation for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) entitled "A New Transportation Analysis Tool" where he discussed the Balanced Transportation Analyzer, or BTA developed for the Kheel Plan.

June 2, 2008 Streetsblog posted an article entitled "Kheel Plan II' to Revive Free Transit Proposal for '09 Races".

May 28, 2008 Author Bill McKibben, taking inspiration from the Kheel plan, publishes an article in Plenty Magazine entitled "Bill McKibben Tackles the Congestion Pricing Issue by Offering an Unexpected Alternative: Free Public Transit for All."

April 2008 The Bus Riders Union of Austin, Texas published "A Proposal for Free Public Transit and Improved System Efficiency in Austin, Texas." The authors wrote that the Kheel Report as well as the Balanced Transportation Analyzer helped them in their analysis, and also served as a source of inspiration.

April 21, 2008 Streetsblog posted an article entitled "Kheel to Push Free Transit Pricing Plan in '09 Mayoral Race".

April 21, 2008 The Daily News blog posted an article entitled "Kheel Plans To Put His Money Where His Mouth Is In '09".

April 10, 2008 Ted Kheel issued a statement announcing his plans for continuing the fight for a more balanced transportation system, which include a grant of $170,000 to expand the Balanced Transportation Analyzer, the analytic tool that forms the basis for the Kheel plan for free transit.

March 27, 2008 Charles Komanoff gave a talk entitled "Beyond Congestion Pricing: The Kheel Plan for Free Transit" to the New York Metro Chapter of the American Planning Association.

March 10, 2008 Charles Komanoff spoke about the Kheel Plan to a gathering at Solar 1, the Green Energy Arts and Education Center in New York.

March 13, 2008 The Riverdale Press published Charles Komanoff's reply to its March 6 Editorial comment on the Kheel plan.

March 6, 2008 The Riverdale Press published an Editorial comment entitled "Is there such a thing as a free ride?" discussing the free transit plan of long time Riverdale resident Ted Kheel.

February 20, 2008 The New York Press published an article entitled "TEDDY'S LAST JAM: 93-year-old Theodore Kheel wants to make mass transit free."

February 13, 2008 The Tri-State Transportation Campaign posted an article entitled "Kheel Plan's Powerful Ideas Won't Fade From Public View".

February 12, 2008 An Op Ed by Ted Kheel appeared in City Hall News entitled "Free Mass Transit for Only a $16 Fee."

February 11, 2008 An online environmental publication called Grist posted an article entitled "Spearheading Traffic for Livable Cities at 93," by Charles Komanoff.

February 10, 2008 In a debate hosted by Gabe Pressman on NBC, Kathryn Wylde of the Partnership for New York City said that the Kheel plan for free transit "is an ideal scenario" and Assemblyman Richard Brodsky commented that "He's done something interesting and important. [Kheel's] reminded us that maybe the way to change behavior is to incentivize people."

January 31, 2008 The New York Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission issued its final recommendation on a congestion pricing plan. The Commission recommended an $8 fee for automobiles to drive into Manhattan south of 60th Street on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

January 31, 2008: The Downtown Express published an Op Ed by Charles Komanoff, lead researcher on the free transit report, entitled: "How about free subways to go with that traffic pricing?"

January 31, 2008: Andrew Revkin of the New York Times published an article and accompanying video on Dot Earth entitled "Managing Traffic in the Urban Age," which discusses the traffic woes of urban areas and potential solutions, including the free transit plan of Ted Kheel.

January 27, 2008 Newsday carried an article on the free transit plan entitled "City Drivers? Make 'em Pay."

January 24, 2008 NY 1 reporter Bobby Cuza did a story on the release of the final free report. To view his coverage, and read the text, click here.

January 24, 2008 A front page story on the free transit report appeared in the New York edition of the free daily newspaper Metro. 

January 24, 2008 Charles Komanoff, lead author of the free transit report, shared some thoughts on the report with key policymakers. To read his message, click here.

January 24, 2008 The final report, "A Bolder Plan, Balancing Free Transit and Congestion Pricing in New York City," was released.

January 17, 2008: George Haikalis testified regarding the implications of the free transit proposal at an MTA hearing on increasing the transit fare. To read his statement, click here.

January 16, 2008 Ted Kheel testified regarding NNYN's study on free transit at a public hearing of the New York City Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission regarding its interim report. To read his statement, click here.

Jan. 11, 2008: WorldChanging posted an article entitled "Free Transit for All" discussing Kheel's free transit proposal.

Jan. 9, 2008: The Daily News published an Op Ed by Ted Kheel called "To tame traffic, make subways & buses free - yes, free."

Jan. 10, 2008: Another Quinnipiac poll found that New Yorker voters are in favor of congestion pricing by a 60- 37 margin if the money is used to help transit.

Jan. 7, 2008: The Gothamist published an interview entitled "Ted Kheel, Founder of the Nurture Nature Foundation," where Kheel discussed NNYN's free transit study.

Dec. 20, 2007: Charles Komanoff, research director and lead modeler of the free transit report, discussed the report in a 20-minute interview on WBAI. 

Dec. 20, 2007 Ted Kheel and George Haikalis appeared on NY 1's half hour feature "Inside City Hall." 

Dec. 19, 2007: Marcia Kramer interviewed Kheel for WCBS news. The interview appeared on television. The written version of the story appeared under the title "Imagine This: Riding Buses & Subways For Free-- One Man's Plan Would Raise $4 Billion For Mass Transit." 

Dec. 18, 2007: Streetsblog published a story on "Kheel Plan: Double the Congestion Charge & Make Transit Free."

December 18, 2007: New York Magazine published an article entitled "Fare Enough" on Ted Kheel's free transit proposal.

December 17, 2007: Ted Kheel mailed a letter to each of the 22 members of the MTA's board urging them to consider a Mini-Report of the free transit research team. The text of the letter, with enclosures, may be viewed here.

December 14, 2007: Ted Kheel mailed a letter to each of the 17 members of the Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission urging them to consider a Mini-Report of the free transit research team. The text of the letter, with enclosures, may be viewed here.

Dec. 11, 2007: The Observer published an article entitled "Ted Kheel: Make Subways and Buses Free".

December 10, 2007: Majora Carter, Executive Director of the Sustainable South Bronx, commented on a preliminary report of the free transit research team that this was worthy of exploration, and that Sustainable South Bronx welcomes efforts to rethink the way transit is paid for in order to make it more affordable and accessible to underserved communities. A copy of the statement is available here.

November 19, 2007: Another Quinnipiac Poll showed that New York City voters would support congestion pricing by a 53-41 margin if it "prevents a hike in mass transit fares." The new poll also showed that a majority of voters would oppose the idea of congestion pricing when not paired with fare relief.

August 30, 2007: A Quinnipiac Poll was released showing that 57% of the voters polled would support congestion pricing if the money were used to prevent an increase in mass transit fares and bridge and tunnel tolls.

July, 2007 An article by NNYN's consultant George Haikailis, entitled "The Best Things in Life are Free: So Why not Public Transit in NYC" was published on the inside front cover of Transportation Alternatives, the official magazine of a transportation advocacy organization with nearly 5,000 members.

July, 2007: Citing Bloomberg's position that free mass transit is good public policy, the Tyee, an independent online pub in British Columbia, published a series of articles with information supporting free mass transit, which includes among other thing a list of cities that have adopted some form of it. All five articles may be read here.

June 28, 2007, the New York Sun published an additional article on the free transit study and NY1 news carried another story on it.

June 26, 2007, George Haikalis presented a progress report summarizing some preliminary results of the Price Matters Study at the Auto-Free New York meeting (see To view the information presented in that progress report, click here.

June 11, 2007: Gabe Pressman commented on Ted Kheel's free transit proposal in "Gabe's View: Free Subways and Buses." 

June 8, 2007: At a hearing of the New York State Assembly on the Mayor's sustainability plan, IRUM submitted comments regarding the need for reduced or free fares. For the full statement, click here.

June 7, 2007: Legislation was introduced in the NY State Senate to help implement congestion pricing. That day, Mayor Bloomberg also recognized the relationship of mass transit pricing and congestion pricing, observing that congestion pricing could help the MTA avoid fare increases. The Mayor's comments followed an analysis by the city showing that transit fares could go as high as $3 over the next three years. For additional details on the Mayor's statement, click here.

May 28-June 1: George Haikalis of The Institute for Rational Mobility (IRUM) traveled to San Francisco to find out more about the free transit study being conducted there. For a report on his findings, click here.)

May 16, 2007: NNYN joined the Campaign for New York's Future, a coalition of civic, business, environmental, labor, community and public health organizations that supported the goals and strategic direction of PlaNYC.

April 23, 2007: Mayor Bloomberg released PlaNYC2030, strongly endorsing congestion pricing, a concept that he had rejected as impractical a few months earlier. Although the plan was a bold and exciting initiative, and provided for various mass transit improvements, the Mayor's plan omitted mention of any fare relief for mass transit passengers.

April 20, 2007: In an interview with WABC, Mayor Bloomberg explained: “If you were to design the ultimate system, you would have mass transit be free and charge an enormous amount for cars.”

April 11, 2007: NNYN produced an 84 page brochure entitled "The Road Not Taken" that was distributed at a panel discussion at the Museum of the City of New York on Robert Moses and Transportation. To read Kheel's introduction to the brochure, which explains its relevance to NNYN's free mass transit proposal and the current transit situation in New York, click here.

April 1, 2007: The New York Times published an Op Ed article entitled "Bridge and Tunnel Vision" by Ted Kheel regarding the Robert Moses exhibits and traffic in New York City. In it, Kheel reiterated support for both free mass transit and congestion pricing, explaining that revenues generated by congestion pricing could subsidize the fare. To read the article, click here.

March 9, 2007 
Mayor Bloomberg states that from a public policy point of view, free mass transit would be in the public interest.

March 1, 2007: IRUM's President, George Haikalis, provided testimony to the New York City Council Transportation Committee on the need to consider reducing or eliminating entirely the fares charged for transit service. To read the testimony, click here. 

February 9-12, 2007: Following Kheel's announcement of the free transit study. the Sun, the Post, Channels 5 and 11, and public radio all reported on it. Multiple web reports and blogs discussed the idea (for examples, click here, here and here). A collection of images from several sites is shown at the bottom of this page..

February 8, 2007: Theodore Kheel announced a $100,000 grant for a study of free mass transit to determine how the public would benefit if the transit fare in the Manhattan business district were totally eliminated. The study would be conducted by IRUM, and funded by Nurture New York's Nature.