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Public Transport Should Be Free

Cities need good public transit or they grind to a halt. Growing cities in the developing world often have traffic jams that choke up whole expressways for days. The reliance on the car also leads to large amounts of pollution, both smog and CO2 emissions. The solutions for these problems is more and better public transit. In cities the public transport network can be dense enough that users do not need to walk far to reach their nearest stop. Should public transit not be seen as a public service and be free in order to encourage people out of their cars?

All the Yes points:

  1. How to get to work
  2. Money Saved
  3. Will encourage people not to drive
  4. Will open opportunities for new businesses
  5. Some people are very poor

All the No points:

  1. private companies
  2. Not enough capacity
  3. Bus driver’s salary, and crowded transport.
  4. It already is almost free.
  5. More pollution ?
  6. We need to combat heart disease
  7. We need to improve the transport system, this costs
  8. People are misguided as to cost allocation
  9. People can walk for free!

How to get to work

Yes because…

There are so many people without a car. They don’t have enough money to use public transportation. How are they supposed to get to work?

No because…

no importance of making it free for people who don’t have money and can’t get to work because of it. why?

1. People who apply for job should know where their job place is, and how they can get there. if they know that they don’t have money, they should’ve find another nearer place that they can get only by walking, etc. it is ridiculous that you apply for job without knowing where your job place is, and even if you know you’re still being stubborn and take the position.

2. even if those people are being stubborn, and they still take the position, there’s nothing government can do with that. look, when these people want this position, they should know the consequences of having a very far job place or things. and when the consequence is they have to pay some amountt of money because of applying for a far job place. since these people will get money by the job, so that’s why this consequence belong to them.

Money Saved

Yes because…

Although the idea of riding the bus every day to work is not very appealing, saving money every week on gas is. At an average of 3.10 a gallon, filling an average sized SUV can cost anywhere from 50-65 dollars. The cost of gas has become so high that some workers are unable to pay for their commute without significantly reducing their take home pay. Free public transportation is the answer for hard working people to have more money in their pockets, clean air in their lungs and a better future for their children.

Some governments have considered paying for public transport out of taxpayers’ money, making it free. This would take cars, along with congestion, off our roads, and help the environment, so many people think it’s a great idea and everyone would be able to see its advantage. However, like nearly all policies, it does have its cons. In Belgium the government made public transport free, and it was a huge success. Lots of money was saved by all parties; the transport companies, the government and particularly the customers. They saved on everything, even printing tickets. It is still free.

No because…

Will encourage people not to drive

Yes because…

By making public transport free, the Government would be encouraging people to use public transport instead of driving to and from work. Whilst there may be the initial lack of revenue from the ticket prices, the Government would benefit the environment. This would mean that they would have to pay less for pollution schemes and pay less for cleaning the streets. They would also have to pay less for the upkeep of roads, this upkeep of roads currently costs 15million GBP. [[http://www.freightonrail.org.uk/PDF/Research-Maintenance.pdf]] By encouraging less people to drive, the Government could cut these costs and this would help fund the free transport.

No because…

The introduction of the Oyster card was supposed to have a similar effect. It reduced the costs of tickets and made the service more efficient, but it has done relatively little to the number of people who drive. If people have a car, they are inclined to use it rather than walking and getting transport. Public transport is always going to be cheaper than running a car, yet people still drive. It is not cost that is a motivating factor for drivers to take public transport. It is convenience.

Will open opportunities for new businesses

Yes because…

If people were able to travel easily to areas slightly out of urban areas then businesses could take advantage of cheaper ground rents out of the city and yet easy access to employees. With more businesses able to start up, the Government would be able to take advantage of more tax. This would mean less benefits paid for unemployment benefit as jobs are created out of the city, and more tax via income tax, and then more tax revenue via corporation tax on the business. This additional revenue could offset the loss of income from public transport. In our dying economy, this is what is needed.

No because…

Once something is completely free people tend not to value it all that much. However it should be priced much cheaper than it is, so that for most urban journeys it becomes the obvious choice. One problem at the moment is that regular users can usually buy a pass which is reasonable value, but the casual bus user tends to get ripped off. This means that once somebody has a car, they are likely to use it, even if a bus exists. Another problem is that many bus routes do not connect well, especially in off peak periods.

One idea that would be worth trying would be to allow people to buy a year long, all routes bus pass in exchange for a single fee, payable at the same time that they pay their Local Government taxes.

If urban public transport is going to succeed, it is also necessary to provide better public transport between urban centres, and from the countryside to urban centres. Many people who visit the urban centres do not live within that conurbation. Public transport to and from the countryside or even the near-town suburbs is verging on non-existant, at least in Britain. I fully identify with the point that journeys such as getting from home to a small industrial estate across town are often difficullt or even impossible.

The fact that some people are very poor is largely an argument for greater fairness and equality in income distribution, rather than a public transport argument.

Some people are very poor

Yes because…

In my opinion I think that public transit should be free because there a lot of people in the world that don’t have the money to pay for there gas. Some people even have to bike to work. Some people don’t even have a car or a bike. It is even eco friendly because there would be less people on cars which means that there would be less car polling. The world will have more gas and will save money each time you take public transit because there are more people on the transit which will help the environment.

No because…

Nothing is free,it just means taking more from the tax payer to fund it. Don’t you think the taxpayer is paying enough ?. It would not and does not take the people from their cars onto the bus,it is inconvenient, and more enjoyable in the car.It will NEVER save the planet or anything else. Have you seen the free bus services and free park and ride ?. I have and the buses are EMPTY and they use 4 times more fuel than a car,and are left running at the bus stations for up to half hour at the rural bus stations. They are(as the trains are) already paid for by the tax payer anyway so it is not right to have to make up for the bit of revenue the transport takes from the passenger. A bus costs approximately £80 per hour to run, with purchase of the bus, tax and 2 insurances, fuel, wages, administration, maintenance and repairs,etc etc.No its more like £100 perhour EACH bus. The only thing the bus services are doing in rural towns and villages is keeping themselves in jobs,they are empty, and the taxpayer is paying for that.Bus fares are cheap enough in the cities. Free to some is expense to others.

private companies

No because…

Private companies can not afford to provide free transportation on its own without the support of government and if government provide this facility then the huge part of budget will go in this sector and then the government how can manage the other basic needs of public like health, education and other necessary public services. There are two types of public transport: run by the government and by the private companies. While the later seems impossible to provide free-of-charge transport, the former has the possibility of providing what the private companies can’t. In one hand this policy would make lessen people’s expenses in transport but in the other hand it’s killing the income of the private companies since people would choose the free-of-charge transport.

Yes because…

Private companies could provide free public transport if the government paid them to do so. An example of this happening on a limited scale is the free bus passes that are given to pensioners in Britain.

Not enough capacity

No because…

Being free will make something much more popular, in the case of public transport this is something that would be a good thing. However across the world transport networks are already at capacity. Could the London underground cope if it was free and suddenly numbers using it jumped dramatically? Probably not. Unfortunately transport infrastructure takes a long time to build so it would be a long time before there could be an increase to match ridership. This would also be costly – a cost that could obviously not be paid off by selling tickets.

Yes because…

It may be possible to make public transport free during quiet periods, late at night or during the middle of the day while charging a lot in peak periods so as to encourage more people to use public transport when it is not already at peak capacity.

Bus driver’s salary, and crowded transport.

No because…

Alot of people only make money from driving bus’s around and if they do it for free how do the company’s make money? This could lower the salary for the driver,s which means less money for the drivers. Also People who don’t own cars will always use puplic transport making it much more crowded and less comforatble for the passengers. Do you want to walk into a bus filled with so many people you have to stand? Not to mention alot of people walk to places using less gas, and if everyone uses bus’s that will make the weight of the bus heavier resulting in using more gas. Not to mention if its free the idea of puplic transport will be more popular so the companies will have to make much more (Bus’s, Subways,e.t.c). Making much more Bus’s will cost alot of many. These are reasons why public transport should not be free.

Yes because…

The actual cost is not really an issue. Presumably the tab would simply be picked up by government. The transport being free would not make bus drivers into volunteers. However the technology is increasingly moving towards being able to have driver-less cars, so why not driver-less buses? Driver-less trains are already possible.

The environmental argument you put forward is however wrong. yes a more crowded bus will use more fuel than one that is not crowded. However it uses much less per person. This actually means that overall there is a fuel saving to having buses (and other public transport as full as possible). This is exactly the same as the idea behind car sharing.

Similarly the cost (environmental and monetary) of building new buses is much less than building the cars to transport an equivalent number of people – even if we make the assumption that some of them will be changing from walking.

Being on a crowded bus is still far less stressful than driving. You can use your phone or fall asleep without being in danger of your life, you aren’t susceptible to road rage, you don’t have to worry about running out of petrol or damaging your car or getting lost. The overall cost is so much less than running a car, monetary stress will be less.

It already is almost free.

No because…

The fares collected hardly pay for the bus company,s overheads. They are subsidised by the tax payer. People should realise that the cost of the bus plus enormous amounts of insurances and wages wear and tear maintenance runnung costs admin and admin offices garages etc etc. To a point it should not be any freer.

Yes because…

More pollution ?

No because…

Most busses here advertise that the bus replaces 5 cars.The car does 40mpg ?, the bus does 15mpg but is left running non stop at the bus stations spewing out thick diesel fumes,and is paid for by the tax payer as they are always empty both ways every half hour where I live. Most of the routes at most times of the day could be covered by a taxi at a tremendously lower rate than the busses. The transport systems in the uk are subsidised too much by the taxpayer without making the underpriced tickets free.

Yes because…

We need to combat heart disease

No because…

In 2007, cardiovascular disease (CVD) caused 34% of deaths in the UK, and killed just over 193,000 people. [[http://www.heartstats.org/topic.asp?id=17]] This is a startling statistic and it an easily circumvented disease. The prevention is in exercise. If we gave people free urban transport, people would begin cutting down on the little exercise they do!! Instead of walking for 5 minutes people would take the free transport. This is not something we should encourage.

Yes because…

At least they will walk to the bus stop instead of getting in their car yards from the front door! If people are inclined to walk they are unlikely to be stopped by free buses, quite the opposite, they are more likely to walk a distance for the shopping, rather than take the car, because they know that they can hop on the bus to carry it back if they acquire heavy items, or it comes on rain or the return walk is otherwise made uncongenial.

We need to improve the transport system, this costs

No because…

In order for transport to remain environmentally friendly and efficient, it needs to be continually maintained. The Liberal democrats understood this as they argued for spending more on public transport not less[[http://www.libdems.org.uk/siteFiles/resources/PDF/Election%20Policy/Liberal%20Democrat%20Environment%20Manifesto.pdf]]. Old buses and old trains pollute more than new systems. There are various technological developments that have helped this. However, in order for the research into technology to be conducted, in order for that research to be implemented, money is needed. Money in the public purse is in low supply. Therefore, it is not viable for the public transport system to be both environmentally friendly and free.

Yes because…

There are many ways in which such a system will in fact save the Government money. The costs on the environment clean up policy has already been mentioned, but then we have the benefit of fewer health care costs. As the air cleans in city centers as people use less cars, rate of asthma will decrease and therefore so will the NHS bill.

People are misguided as to cost allocation

No because…

People seem to be under the impression that the maintenance of roads is free and therefore think that public transport should also be free [[http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/07/transit_should.php]]. However, people pay road tax to cover the costs for roads. There is also the high level of tax paid on petrol, making the Government 23.6 billion GBP a year. [[http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/6/F/pbr_csr07_endofyear321.pdf]] This is how the money is obtained to pay for the roads, they are not free. If public transport were made free, we would be made to pay for the service via a tax. There is little point in doing this, all it is doing is transferring costs from direct payment to indirect taxation.

Yes because…

This is not a misapprehension at all, quite simply the use of the roads would be rather more efficient if everyone was on buses rather than cars, if 50 people get on a single bus thats 20-30 fewer cars; it should be fairly obvious what that does to wear and tear on the road, thus reducing the maintenance cost!

People can walk for free!

No because…

“More than half of the world’s population lives near an urban center.” With this being so, why should public transport be free? If we take the urban cities where the jobs are, where the activities are, everything is so close together that walking is a perfectly viable option. With this being so, why should the Government offer public transport for free? At the moment people have the option to either walk or get public transport. If people choose not to walk, then they should pay.

Yes because…

This rather hinges on ‘near’ near does not mean much, you can live within the M25 and still be many miles from the Center of London, as the M25 is between 12 to 20 miles away from the center all the way round, by almost anyones definition people within the M25 are in London yet they are not within walking distance by any stretch of the imagination!

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Brendon Chile
3 years ago

Public transport should’ve absolutely been free for the elderly as of the reasons listed above.

Kate Jane
3 years ago

Public transport a should be free for the elderly. IT doesn’t help those of which have mental issues. Also, paying for public transport costs a certain amount of money whichever some people cannot afford like poor people and those of which are saving money but aren’t wealthy. Public transport should be free for the elderly.

eeerrrr cars
3 years ago

Many people say to ride bike instead of cars….. Than shouldn’t the government make the public transportation free? In addition, there are many people who don’t own their driving license. And poor people can’t afford a car… Even small cars worth 2 thousand won…

4 years ago

I drive a minibus about 10hrs a day. I’d say if you can legit get idiots to stop thinking that just because they “can” get a liscense, that they “know” how to drive, and instead get on a bus, do it. The issue isn’t that bus fare is too costly, it’s that (here in California) bus fare is like $1.75 and 96% of voters support raising funds for public transport, yet only 6% of the people actually ride the damn things. California’s current population is about 49m, and each one of them want to sit in traffic for 2+ hours driving 50+ miles to work, rather than taking the train that goes the same way. The issue isn’t about making public transport more affordable, it’s educating idiots driving personal transport vehicals that there are other ways of getting around, and helping pace the traffic flow. The other issue is car loans, houses fine, but cars? I personally think car loans should be outlawed; you want to drive yourself around and hog up traffic, that’ll be $44k. Can’t afford that? Well, at least public transport is free, and you wont lose your home attempti g to pay for both.

Brendon Chile
3 years ago
Reply to  Zyxwyr

Could you make that a bit more appropriate?

7 years ago

How do you get to school or work every day. There are so many people with out a car. They don’t have enough money to use public transportation. How are they supposed to get to work? And for students that go into town every day it ends up costing lots of money and some people don’t have that money so it can be a real problem for them. Although the idea of riding the bus every day to work is not very appealing, saving money every week on gas is. The cost of gas has become extremely high, For a small car it can cost around about $50-$350, So that means that some workers are unable to pay for their petrol.

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