Actions in Berlin on FPT-Day

Our friends in Berlin are organizing a cosy event in the metro on the international free public transport day tomorrow/today 5th of March. Have a look at their video below and join in!

Take a ride on the free public transport day!
Re-make the S-bahn – refurnish a wagon to a living room – a friendly action supporting ideas of free public transport.

Meeting point:
Zum Umsteiger (eck-kneipe),
159 Hermanstrasse (ecke siegfriedstrasse)
18.00 Saturday 5th of March

Bring what you think belongs in your living room.
A few suggestions: carpets, plants, pictures, curtains, cushions, knitting equipment, musical intsruments… and ducktape and strings to attach items.
Invite friends, spread the word and do not be afraid to show up to support the action, also if you did not have the time to bring anything else than yourself!

join us for freepublictransportday! from seemiramis on Vimeo.

Free Public Transport Day 2011

FPT-day is coming up this saturday. Things are happening all around, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you are planning something where you live!

In Sweden, different initiatives are gathered on (in Swedish only as of yet). The program includes actions in Stockholm, seminars and leafleting in Malmö and free buses in Mora – where the annual ski race Vasaloppet takes place the same weekend.

In Germany Berlin fährt frei (Berlin rides for free) calls out for the participation in the rally: “Stand up for a different railway politics!” that is happening on the International Day of Action for Free Public Transport—Saturday March 5, 2011—from 15:00 at Potsdamer Platz. Berlin fährt frei will be speaking at the event.

Even if Berlin’s S-Bahn (regional train) disaster has disappeared from the front pages, the ice is still thin and the issue is still boiling. The S-Bahn is still only running on a rudimentary level and what should happen as of 2017—when the contract would be renewed—is completely unclear. Nothing points to the sign that the S-Bahn’s profit orientation will change without pressure from below. That’s why we want to make a statement on March 5:

“Business as usual” will not work for Berlin! The recent water referendum is only a taste of what is possible. And because we don’t want to get stuck in destructive defensive cycles, we demand:

Berlin rides for free—Bus and train without the need for tickets!

For the right to mobility and against social exclusion.

For real environmental and climate politics and fewer cars.

Because so, everyone’s quality of life improves and because common goods must be organized democratically.

Berlin rides for free—The city belongs to us!

The rally was initiated by Schwabenstreich Berlin. More information (in German) here:

FPT-Day in Brazil

In Florianopolis, Brazil,  a Carnival parade is being planned for Free Public Transport day. “Bloco” is  when someone, usually a band, goes on top of a truck parading on the streets and the crowd follows dancing samba or funk. In this case the band or the “bloco” is called “BONDE DOS CATRAQUEIRAS” and the carnival event will be used to promote free transportation.People are asked to bring pots and pans to make noise and to bring a white t-shirt that will be painted with the “bloco” graphics. Sounds an amazing party!

We wish you a happy Free Public Transport Day!

Free public transport struggles in Brazil

First Free Transport Movement (Movimento Passe Livre – MPL) action against the bus fares rise gathered 170 people

The first public demonstration against the price increase was performed on January the 6th, gathering around 170 people in Bandeira Square. After the assembly and after “Carlito” danced the called “Funk against the rase” it was held a rally. Streets and cross roads were closed, thereby giving the voices in the demonstration  a bigger importance and attention.
The city hall tried, along with the bus companies, to demobilize the population of Joinville, planing the increase of the bus fares for a holiday season (Christmas and New Year). Hoping thereby to pass this increase without any further explanations, an extremely  undemocratic attitude .

But the population answerd with noise on the streets, making sure they were heard on the city hall as the polititions didn’t open the issue to debate with the popular sector, debating it only with the bus companies.

Thus it was launched the campaign “$ 2.30 IS THEFT, ” which demands the withdrawal of the fare on public transport and the end of the comercialization of the public transportation on the city. Transportation has to be public, it’s not an object of profitable business for some.

The protesters have declared a new manifestation date: Tuesday, 11/01 at 18h in Bandeira Square.

Berlin rides for free!

Berlin, October 12, 2010
With the motto “Think global – Act local!” the Berlin based campaign “Berlin fährt frei” (Berlin rides for free) informed interested Berliners during its kickoff
action on the global action day for climate justice.

The “Berlin fährt frei” campaign puts its action in the context of the global action day for climate justice. From 5 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon humorous small theatre performances and various information material enlivened the Berlin subway lines and stations and many passengers. The aim and focus of the action were to criticize the impact of private motorised transport on the one hand and the motivate a change to solidaristically, democratically organised free public transport that is not based on economic growth on the other.

The campaign found much resonance for its ideas: there was not only unanimous support that public transport in Berlin was to expensive and as first step we need to hinder next year’s planned price hikes, but one passenger doubted that the CO² goals of the Berlin Senate could be reached only with insulation and boiler replacements. A young father remarked that free public transport would reduce traffic in Berlin and make the streets safer for his children.

There was a particularly good reception of the colorfully clad campaigners in the S-Bahn (the regional train, which last had a major crisis due to dwindling security standards), with one passenger asserting: “It can’t be that public services serve the profit interests of large concerns.” Dieter Hartmann, active in “Berlin fährt frei” commented on the positive feedback from passengers during the action: “It is especially the link between environmental protection, social justice, democratic control of common goods and the perspective of a livable city excites people about the campaign.

Only by rethinking our way of life and economy are we able to fulfill our global responsibility on a local level. We’re quite happy about the start of the campaign and invite everybody to make Berlin a poster child for a truly environmental friendly free public transport.

Read more in german:

Berlin Fährt Frei

New report: The Traffic Hierarchy presents The Traffic Hierarchy. The report is a translation of Trafikmaktordningen which was released in December last year and it is also featured in the latest issue of Carbusters Magazine.
Download the full report here [.pdf] or read the introduction below.



One is not born a motorist, one becomes one.

Mobility and class are deeply entangled. Not only because one’s potential for mobility often has to do with one’s economic position, but also because a society built on today’s mobility paradigm – automobility – directly contributes to growing economic and social differences.

A society which puts the car on a pedestal quite obviously favours motorists. Another obvious fact is that white high-income and middle-aged men are an over-represented group among motorists. And the opposite is true among public transport users. But, a society that prioritises motoring, and looks at ever-growing mobility as an almost magical recipe for development, increases the differences between its citizens and different parts in other ways as well.

The current traffic hierarchy, with the car on top and with public transport, bikers and pedestrians at the bottom, manifests itself in the fact that these means of conveyance are given different amounts of space and resources. With the car on top of the traffic hierarchy we get a society built on automobility: a world where our lives, to a far too great extent, are steered by cars.

This article is written to clarify how the current traffic hierarchy manifests itself and what its consequences are: a society built on automobility does not only pose grave danger from an ecological point-of-view, it also enhances the current notions towards greater economic and social segregation. By highlighting the problems with the current traffic hierarchy and starting to map out the edges of another way of planning and handling movement we hope and believe that we can also give some clues on how to handle other societal problems.

The car is pitching us towards each other. Who has not experienced the feeling of putting oneself in a car and suddenly being transformed into a motorist? The pure act of putting oneself behind the wheel seems, for almost everyone, to lead to egotistic behavior, a situation where everyone is trying to gain something on someone else’s behalf. While driving a car, one’s fellow human beings (other drivers, public transport users, pedestrians, bikers) become nothing more than obstacles. Who cannot, honestly, recognise the almost aggressive and competitive feeling that the car produces in oneself? Since we do not want to encourage this kind of behaviour, and since we are confident that one is not born a motorist, but rather becomes one, we strongly believe that the risk of people becoming motorists has to be minimised.

Because of this we do not only want to change the order of the traffic hierarchy and take the car down from its pedestal. Rather, we want a society built on totally different premises. A society where no one is forced into motorism, whether passively or actively. A society where proximity and availability to what people need to satisfy their needs and desires are put at the forefront.

Mass action in Ankara subway

This morning (4th of february), one of the first acts to support general strike to support TEKEL (ex-monopoly for alcohol and tobacco) workers took place in Batıkent. The municipality delayed the departure of subway for one and a half hour as thousands of people claimed the right to free transportation. Meanwhile, hundreds of Batıkent residents chanted slogans to support TEKEL workers.
Against the rise of public transportation fees , hundreds of Batıkent residents used the right to free transportation. Claiming the right to public transportation and need for general strike, district organizations of Batıkent Halkevleri, ÖDP (freedom and solidarity party) and EMEP(labor party) called for protest and thousands of people responded the call by jumping over turnstiles .

Passengers were shouting out loud saying ;“We want free transportation”, “Cancel the rise of transportation fees”, “ The ordeal will fail so will Gökçek (Mayor of Ankara)”, “General strike, general resistance”. Batıkent residents emphasized that no one in Turkey should remain silent against the usurpation of the rights and chanted altogether;”Tekel workers are not alone”.

Against the protests and free access to subway, the municipality did not let the subways to move for one and a half hour. Although municipality announced that the subway stop was close due to protests, protesters did not give up and continued their acts.
After one and a half hour, the subway started to move and determinant protest of Batıkent residents proved success. They were chanting “ we will succeed thorugh determinant protests” and have decided to repeat the protest every day until the rise of fees are cancelled.

batıkentliler ücretsiz ulaşım için turnikelerden atladı from on Vimeo.

Article about free public transport in Carbusters

Check out this article about free public transport from the latest issue of Carbusters!

It is great to promote walking and biking as alternatives to driving, and of course these two means of transportation are the most ecological and healthy. But we must acknowledge that not everyone has the luxury of being able to bike or walk to work, school or their leisure activities. Kids, people with disabilities and elderly, people living in suburbs far away from their work and people living in cities where the weather just isn’t suitable for being outside most of the year – for all of them biking or walking is hardly ever an option and this is something that needs to be addressed.

Annual report from (Stockholm, Sweden)

One year ago, when we summarized our 2008, we where a bit cocky and claimed that it had been our most active and successful year so far. We could definitely say the same thing this year as well, because 2009 where both productive and exciting for Following is a brief account of some of the most fun things we did in 2009.

The year started with SL (the public transport company in Stockholm) making a bizarre promotion campaign towards university students, which we adbusted in the the student magazines. We formed the public transport opinion institute “Kollektivtrafikens Opinionsintitut” and made a big survey among commuters in Stockholm and their attitudes towards barrier-free public transport. The survey was then used in our report “At any Cost?” which was released to coincide with the free public transport day and got some good attention among politicians and the media.

The greenwashing happening Earth Hour was a golden opportunity to shed some light on the double standards of Sweden’s climate policies. lighted up the facade of the Swedish Ministry of Environment, who to our dismay choosed to join Earth Hour instead of doing something real about the climate problems.

The first of May was celebrated according to tradition, for the ninth year in a row we marched with the anarcho-syndicalist union, and for one of the first times the sun was shining!

We made a big survey among all our members and printed thousands and thousands of stickers to make the public transport system more attractive.

On the World Environment Day we arranged a climate crash together with our friends in Klimax and Friends of the Earth. For a few hours all car traffic on one of the biggest and most polluted streets in Stockholm where shut down and we had a street party. After this we took the ferry to Gotland to participate in Politikerveckan – the yearly spectacle for political broilers. When we got back home SL had made another funny and strange campaign to try to get to us, we countered with a new instruction movie on how to free ride in the public transport.

SL where spending most of August doing different campaigns against us, but it was an epic fail on their behalf since that month was one of our most active and we also got a lot of media coverage for our actions. Among other things we debated fare dodging on one of the biggest morning shows on Swedish television.

We introduced new and easier ways to pay for your membership, got over 9000 fans on our Facebook page and helped President Obama.

We celebrated the end of summer with a huge party in support of the workers at Lagena (whom where threatened to be fired and replaced with people from a staffing company), the party raised over 2000 euros. When school started we handed out free course literature to the students at the University of Stockholm, and two of our activists moved to Prague to work at the World Carfree Network (which we are a member of).

In September we participated at the big demonstration against the current right-wing government and went to Budapest to celebrate the European Mobility Week and take part in a ten day long workshop on urban planning. During the nights in Budapest we also managed to finish the first English translation of one of our reports, and we released Travel doesn’t have to cost the earth on the World Carfree Day.

On the fifteenth of October we participated in the blog action day. Some days later we printed 100.000 golden stickers. During November we had lectures in different cities every week, Gothenburg, Oslo, Malmo and Prague.

In the beginning of December we hosted another party, this time in support for Carbusters Magazine. The founder of critical mass, Chris Carlsson, held a lecture before the party and we released our second report in 2009, Trafikmaktsordningen (The hierarchy of traffic). Then we went to Copenhagen to party, meet new people, demonstrate and watch the disastrous outcome of the negotiations.

We finished the decade in style with a free showing of the movie Metropia and a new adbust campaign.


New report: Travel doesn’t have to cost the earth!

In celebration of the World Carfree Day and the European Mobility Week we are today very proud to present our first English report. Travel doesn’t have to cost the earth is a translation of a report we released in Swedish last November. The report presents five concrete steps towards a climate-smart and fair transport sector in Stockholm.

Download the full report here [.pdf] and read the summary below.

Travel doesn't have to cost the earth


In 2009 the current Kyoto protocol will be replaced by a new international climate agreement. The Swedish EU presidency means that Sweden will play a key role when the world leaders gather in Copenhagen to sign the new agreement.

With this in mind, we in want to turn the focus from abstract percentages and climate targets to concrete political measures. The transport sector is the major climate villain in Sweden, being responsible for more than 40 percent of our environmentally hazardous emissions. The main culprit is road traffic, which since 1990 has increased its emissions with no less than 12 percent. Today it is responsible for approximately 30 percent of all emissions.

A powerful climate adjustment requires comprehensive infrastructural changes in the transport sector. The key to climate adjustment is to be found in the cities, where most of the emissions are generated. Through simple reforms such as planning our cities for public transport, bicycle and pedestrian transport, we can actively reduce car traffic and cut the emission rates in our cities.

This report presents five concrete steps towards a fair and climate-smart reconstruction of the Stockholm transport sector:

  • Transport-saving social planning
  • Major investments in rail-carried public transport
  • Stop on all road expansions
  • Car-free city-centre
  • Fare-free public transport

We hope that this report will contribute to a deeper discussion about how we want to shape our city, and put focus on the importance of a fairly conducted climate adjustment.
Stockholm, Sweden
September 2009