Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Greens want free buses paid for by you

Green MP Metiria Turei is advocating “free” buses, which, of course, are not free, because someone is forced to pay for them. More theft from the pockets of those who don’t want to use the bus.
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These is evidence to show that free public transport does not relieve traffic congestion, but results in inflationary costs for public transport (operators demand more to run services and get paid it because they are not vulnerable to losing passenger when fares increase), dramatically reduces walking and cycling (why walk when you can hop on a bus for a short trip) and therefore reduces the level of exercise people get. Free buses also get overcrowded because people start taking trips over further distances “for the fun of it”, they ride to places without regard for the cost and they travel at the same time because it is free.
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The free inner city bus in Christchurch on average takes one person from a car per trip – one! The rest are people who would have walked, been a fare-paying bus passenger or wouldn’t have taken the trip.
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Free buses are a recipe for more taxes from you, virtually no impact on congestion, lazy people who don’t walk or bike and full buses at peak times when you really want them.
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The big question I want asked is, why do the Greens want motorised transport to be subsidised at all? Isn't it better that people pay the full subsidised cost of buses or choose to walk or not travel at all?

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