Most unfare   5/3/2006

If annoying huge chunks of your readership is the way to produce badly needed new sales, the Sunday Age is bravely charting new territory. The preferred read of sabbath latte-slurpers today recommends that all should ride Melbourne’s public transport for free.
It suggests the $380 million bill required could be met: by a congestion tax on cars entering the CBD; by a Medicare-style national levy; or by a rate levied on households and businesses, with rebates for concession-card holders and tax deductibility for businesses. Or some combination of these measures.
Thus, free trains and trams for those in the inner and middle suburbs would be subsidised by: those who have no choice but to drive into the city; an increase in income tax for the whole nation; or a hefty hike in council rates for a majority who don’t use public transport.
I’m sure the citizens of outer suburbs with a paucity of public transport as well as residents of regional cities and towns will be thoroughly delighted at the prospect of paying train and tram fares for those poor underprivileged commuters from Carlton, Hawthorn, Toorak and Brighton.
More evidence that The Age-ABC clique think the world ends where the freeways begin.

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