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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12 Comments for 'Most unfare'

    6/3/2006 | 11:02 am

    What a great idea…NOT!!

    I already subsidise a transport system I xcant use due to living in a regional area, pay three times the rates of a mate who lives in Toorak on a house half the value and now get to consider funding free public transport!!

    Were I live we have just three buses f\daily from our town the the next large regional town, one which many people drive to for work…does anyone take one of those three buses to work…no…why? Because they dont leave in hours satisfactory for workers. They laos odnt allow one to get the that town to catch the train to the city for the weekend without leaving work three hours early of the usual 5pm knock off. So you could say at present I am fairly disgusted with funding public transport which is basically non-existent where I live…and this option suggest I pay even more so others have an even greater privilege…

    Mr Bracks, your a labor party perosn, what ever happened to the principle of the redistribution of wealth and services from the rich to the the city of Stonnington paying more in rates than those of us in East Gippsland!!

    James Dudek
    6/3/2006 | 12:32 pm

    It’s been pretty well established that the vast majority of people who use public transport (especially trains) are those who live within walking distance of the stations.

    Unsuprisingly some of the most valuable property in Melbourne is located within walking distance of the stations.

    The only explanation for this idea is that the rich want the poor to subsidize their transportation.

    What a ridiculous proposition……

    6/3/2006 | 1:40 pm

    Wouldn’t that increase demand somewhat? Then where would you be? Or is it that no-one on public transport pays now? My observation from occasional use of trams is that well over 50% do not buy tickets or get one punched by the machine.

    6/3/2006 | 2:00 pm

    Ken Livingstone made public transport in London free for those 16y and under. The result? A vast increase in vandalism. Now the Greater London Council is having to spend millions on an ad campaign to stop the vandalism, which it won’t. One law that totally escapes the left is the law of unintended consequences.

    People only value what they pay for. Making things ‘free’ (of course nothing is really free) is always a wrong move.

    Wylie Wilde
    6/3/2006 | 3:04 pm

    I’m gonna be the loner on this- and say yes- I would like to see a Free Public Transport service. In an ideal world- yes.

    You cut down on the traffic going to the city. And cut down on pollution. traffic jams etc..

    But in a Labor state govt- it would simply lead to massive inefficiences and be a massive cess pool of corruption led by union bosses and minions.

    In Singapore, vandals are heavily punished. There is virtually zero graffitti in their buses and trains. In Australia, the politicians are too pussy to do anything about it.

    Stephen Williams
    6/3/2006 | 3:50 pm

    Come on you lot, cough up and pay a bit of your hard earned. Don’t you lot out in the regional areas know this is good for you? Premier bracks and his government only want whats best for you. The only other party that has done such a good job looking after rural and regional areas is the National Party. Ask any wheat farmer or someone who wants their phone fixed or bank a cheque.

    6/3/2006 | 8:15 pm

    They’ll also get, for free, a permanent public bligation to invest in new capital stock and extensions to the network, as no private investor is going to cough up for a venture with zero or negative return on investment.

    Robert Blair
    7/3/2006 | 11:11 am

    Slatts, the $380 million required is only a fraction of the subsidy currently paid (well over a billion I believe) by the have-nots (have not public transport) to subsidise the haves.

    Instead buy, with five years total subsidy (est 1.5 billion per annum) a few shiploads of hyundais. Given we could ask for a reasonable discount I reckon we could get them at around $8,000 each. That will get us just short of a million Hyundais. Each commuter who can drive gets one for free. The only obligation – to fuel and service it, and give free lifts to commuters who can’t drive.

    7/3/2006 | 12:43 pm

    Free transport is a really terriffic idea but I do think we need to get our priorities in order here. Obviously necessities like food, clothing and shelter need to be made free, before attending to lower order freebies like transport.

    Bernard Slattery
    8/3/2006 | 11:02 am

    Wine and sex must be added to your essentials list, Observa. Priorities, man!

    8/3/2006 | 11:43 am

    The mind does boggle at the possibilities, but you have to bring the punters along with you in politics these days Slatts. The Dept of Froenology sounds good to me but you know those conservatives and family first types? As for the other bit, some of us are British, or have experienced the enthusiasm of those lefty equal opportunity policy implementation types!!! Best to stick to the basics for starters IMO and when you think about it rationally, with free basics, that will cut out the need for commuting and cut down on GW. Also notice the savings generated by not having to subsidise commuters here. Gee whiz! Sometimes I’m so rational it hurts.

    James Dudek
    9/3/2006 | 12:34 pm


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