A plausible reason why Bioware is catering to F2P players is to keep the new F2P playerbase sticking around. Easy access to speeders would surely encourage me to stick around longer to keep exploring swtor.
I'm just hoping Bioware is slowrolling this whole F2P transition and we loyal subbers get rewarded big in the end.
We loyal subscribers get rewarded via "free" cartel coins for every month we sub. So, in a way they're basically giving us everything that can be purchased on with cartel coins for nothing more than being a loyal subscriber. Granted, it will take time to be able to purchase everything for all twelve characters, but it's from doing nothing more than we have already loyally been doing for a year now.
As for those who are irked over things they had to grind for now being almost handed out, it happens in just about every MMO out there. Does it suck, yes, but it's just the way that it is. Eventually some of those things we grinded countless hours to obtain will become completely obsolete in the game... it happens.