TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Any one for free public transport

In the UK we spend £6 billion on subsidies to the train and bus companies. If we add 1p on income tax we could raise a further £5 billion giving us a grand total of £11 billion a year to spend on infrastructure and transport and provide free public transport.
Not only would we create real jobs and growth, but it would eleviate congestion leading to cleaner air. Reduce road traffic accidents, increase disposable income to the poorest, after all we are being taxed to get to work and back. Can you imagine coal mine workers being charged to travel down the mine shafts.
It would also increase the chances of reducing our carbon emissions, it's a win win.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Feb 25 2013: £11 billion a year sounds to me like a very huge amount of money. How much is spent just to obtain, manage and deliver that money?... 20% of it?, 30%?, 50%?... I am sure a few private (competing) companies can provide the service for a lot less. So why to charge all the tax payers with such a heavy load when you can charge transport users with a more reasonable amount.
    • Feb 25 2013: We already have private "competing" companies running the buses and trains and they get subsidies from the taxpayers of £6billion.
      The train companies are trying to price customers off trains rather than invest in improvements.
      As for bus companies, they compete for the profitable routes, get subsidised for the key links that don't make money and don't even bother with break even routes.
      It is true that our previous Governments attempts at running services wasn't a good experience but as I have said in a previous thread, it's all about the management and not a private vs public argument.
      Private companies are there to make money and are not duly concerned with the socioeconomic impact on communities when cutting services.
      By providing a cheap alternative to car use you would in effect be providing the poor with more disposable income, a much more effective type of quantitive easing.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.