Instead of a long rambling blog post today, you can read this from me in The Age:
On the point that the FTZ encourages driving: VISTA data showed that for journeys from Zone 1 to the CBD, those by car jumped from about 32% to 39% when the FTZ was introduced.
See PTUA submission to the Free Tram Zone inquiry, page 2 for more detail.
Edit: 27/7/2022: Let me also expand on the point about walking vs tram. It’s commonly seen with free public transport that more journeys are shifted from walking than from cars, and the FTZ is no exception.
People walking on short trips around the CBD use nothing more than a bit of footpath. When those trips move to the free trams (and even worse, crowd out other users) they are using up tram fleet capacity, track capacity, stop infrastructure, power, and driver (and support staff) resources. This is not an efficiency or environmental gain.
I’m not expecting everyone to agree with the article, but if you’re wanting to leave a comment to say you disagree, please explain which part(s) you’re disagreeing with, and why.
I’d also say: the view that the FTZ is problematic has been highlighted before, right back to when it was first introduced. It’s not new – but it has become more nuanced as the effects of the zone have been seen.