In the Warren Meyer style guide, any phrase like this one -- Why Can't Public Transit Be Free? -- would be reworded "Why Can't Other People Pay For My Transit" so as to be more accurate. Because it clearly can never be free (short of an Iain Banks post-scarcity future world). An even more generic title for this would be "why can't non-users pay for users' services?"
One other thought -- since when did "getting people out of their cars" become the goal of public transit? Is that really a goal worth spending money on? I understand that many transit advocates have this goal nowadays, but in the new systems being built (outside of New York) there is little or no energy reduction in moving people by transit. And the cost per passenger mile of these system is much higher than for building more roads for more cars. And it is no longer about mobility for poorer folks -- new light rails systems cost a fortune, and are built to appeal to professionals and the middle class, while crowding (due to their huge costs) buses that are the traditional source of mobility for the poor.
I get the sense that the argument for transit nowadays is almost aesthetic -- people find cars and roads and suburbs aesthetically distasteful, and want to replace them. That would explain the focus on insanely expensive light rail systems, that look cool, over buses that actually move people for a reasonable cost. I saw a great quote the other day, I wish I can remember who said it. Something like, "Progressives aren't trying to create a rational world, they are trying to create Portland."
update: Thanks to a reader, here is the actual quote (and source): "The goal of progressivism is not to make the world rational; it’s to make the world Portland."