Re: [NewMobilityCafe] Melbourne: Free Public Transport
On 8 Mar 2006, at 17:04, HELMAN MARGARET A wrote:
> Brilliant idea to make public transport free, however it will never
> happen because Government (UK) will no longer receive the vast
> amounts of revenue from fuel tax that they depend on. Less fuel
> used = less revenue for our high spending Government - it will not
> get past first base
Not only that, but public transport providers don't support it either!
Though the situation hasn't worked out too badly in Scotland (as far
as I know) where public transport is now free for over 60s, in London
and other places it has led to massive increases in demand which (in
London) have been covered by further increases in subsidy.
Transport providers are paranoid that the amount the government says
it's going to cost is underplayed for budgetary and public
acceptability reasons, and that in reality more vehicles and drivers
will be required. They potentially have a lose-lose situation where
conditions are bad because of overcrowding, and they are not being
paid enough to provide and expand the service.
Governments just need to make sure they do things properly, and
ensure costs are managed (ie providers are not paid too much or too
little). With free travel for some people, the providers have the
ability to cross subsidise and raise fares in other areas.
I wonder what proportion of people (such as the over 60s) who can use
free public transport actually use it? Perhaps Dave Wetzel can
enlighten us about London - I suspect that outside the centre of
London it might not be quite as many people as we hope.
Anzir Boodoo MRes MILT Aff. IRO
transcience, 72 Staplehurst, BRACKNELL RG12 8DD