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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.


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  • Feb 28 2013: Yes I understand what you propose, you want to charge me, the bus user, certain amount of money through taxation in order to provide me with a "free service" which, if the government would do its job, should cost a fraction of that amount. In other words you want to charge me not in the point of service but through taxes, the cost of the ride, plus the cost of the management of the tax money, plus the cost of having a corrupt driver's union, plus the cost of poor maintenance services that have to be done twice instead of one, plus the cost of expensive repair parts that never were into on the bus... and so on, so instead of having to pay X at the point of service I have to pay 2X through taxes.
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      Feb 28 2013: But if I'm not a bus user the fact that I'm paying anyway might inspire me to jump on a bus. Which is actually the point.
      • Feb 28 2013: May be you are willing to jump into a bus regardless of its mechanical conditions, but I won't leave my car to jump gladly into a bus which I know for sure it has not being properly maintained, even if I know I'm paying for it.
    • Feb 28 2013: Ok we will run with the Army. We are putting soldiers on the dole now that we are coming out of Afghanistan. They are already well trained and disciplined and did a fantastic job running security at the London Olympics.
      Even if the costs were doubled it would still have a significant cost benefit, cleaner air, fewer accidents, more disposable income, improve social cohesion and less traffic.
      • Feb 28 2013: If that is you point, then there are much better solutions: Why not making all streets in a radius of 1 mile from the center of the city exclusive to bikes, why not to open express lines for small cars with 2 or more people inside, why not take away taxes from motorcycles, why not passing a law that makes public servants like, teaches, police officers, fire fighters and so on... to work at the nearest school, police station, fire station, etc. from their home. Why not to tax the use of cars according to the weight of the car and the size of the engine. Why not to give tax exemtions to people who share their car with 3 or more neighbors or coworkers.... so my point is still the same: why to give more power to the people who is causing the problem???
        • Mar 1 2013: I am not ruling out any of these other measures, but on their own, they are only half measures in trying to put off the inevitable gridlock. I have already pointed out the advantages of free public transport. At a time when Governments are desperately seeking policies to stimulate the economy and reducing our emissions it makes sense.
          It needs a completely different approach, more substance and less of the spin.
          You mention how incapable our Governments are but that shouldn't be an excuse to sit back and do nothing.
      • Mar 5 2013: Two points here, first, I am not saying is time to sit back, much the opposite: I say is time for we to demand the government to really apply the law on transportation companies to its last consequences!!! Second: to assume that the reason of the grid lock is because people uses their cars is a very simplistic approach. The grid lock is because people need to travel faraway from their home in order to study, work and shop. So if you want a real, definitive and sustainable solution for the problem you must start by reducing the need of the people to travel... Many jobs can be done remotely from home, don't you think a more efficient way to get rid of the grid lock is to make people work at home??? why should I even start my car's engine if can be at my job just by climbing a few steps??? why should I buy a bus ticket if my college is just inside my bedroom??? why should mom would need a truck if the supermarket is just around the corner???, why to give my kid a car if he can do well with a bike???

        I think a city where people can reach whatever they need by walking a few blocks is much better than one in which you can travel free.

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