Transport for all

I have an idea to improve people’s lives, save people money, help the environment and generally make the world a better place to live.

No really. And I propose to do this by effectively removing one of the biggest inventions in human history, the car.

There are a few undeniable facts, fuel costs will rise, fuel supplies will go down, cars are bad for the environment and everyone needs to travel.

Think about how much you spend on transport a month, or year.

I estimate I spend at least £2400 per year on car related costs, that’s without any car payments, as I drive an old banger. Which claims that running a family car for 10,000 miles costs in excess of £5,685.

The government has recently given free bus travel to all people over 60, country wide. What a brilliant idea, but why not tweak it a little and offer it to the entire nation.

For a flat yearly fee of approximately £1,500 per adult you would get a travel card, which would entitle you to free travel on any public bus, train, tram, tube or bicycle in the country, unlimited use, no restrictions, and a guarantee of service for all areas,

The scheme would be free for under 18’s, over 60’s and the disabled. Full time students and the unemployed/low earners would be subsidised.

In the UK there is an non exempt from fees population of 38,795,400 (statistics.gov.uk), meaning a free of £1,500 would produce a revenue of £58,193,100,000, adjust down by 5% for subsidies and you are left with an annual revenue of £55,283,445,000.
Considering the existing infrastructure expanding the service to adequately service all areas should be more than manageable, and provide many jobs.
To ensure all areas get an adequate service, the percentage of your fee that is set aside for your local area would be inversely proportional to the local population density.

All people who currently rely on the population driving cars would be offered jobs as a priority for the first 5 years of the scheme.
Within 5 years we would have a public transport system that the world would be jealous of, and the lowest pollution levels of any industrialised country.

I’m not proposing banning cars, the scheme would be non compulsory, cars have a place, but with a good enough public transport system, I think it would not be long before cars were abandoned as obsolete by most.

What do you think, dangerous lunatic or world saving idea?
I’m sure I’ll be written off as a communist…

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11 comments on “Transport for all
  1. Anonymous says:

    I think it is an excellent idea. I do love the freedom of owning and driving a car, but I find the driving itself tedious. If the public transport system was suitabley bolstered by your scheme, the freedom to just get in my car and drive would be replaced with the freedom to simpley walk to the end of my road and wait 10 mins for the next bus. Having just had to replace my car and so being particularly conscious of the cost of maintenance, insurance, fueling, taxing, the idea of a nice clear flat rate per year would apeal greatly.

    The only drawback I can see is that being in a fit state to drive is pretty much the only reason I have to be sober, so the money I’d save on car ownership would be used to fuel my alcholism. :-P

  2. yetanotherdave says:

    Opportunity cost, which would you rather be, driving or drunk? Everyone’s a winner!

  3. Anonymous says:

    On the other hand, If it isn’t compulsory for people to lose there cars I assume you would make sure that it didn’t become de facto compulsory on public transport. It would be a big kick in the pants to those who are already using public transport to get work week in week out for their annual costs to more than triple.

  4. yetanotherdave says:

    It’s all in the detail, being an entirely non compulsory scheme, I would see that the current fare model would run along side the pass, meaning people can pay for one off journeys if they feel that would benefit them. These people would of course benefit from the increase in public spending on transport as there would be more service.
    Keeping this model would be essential, if only for the tourist industry.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Transporting luggage?
    I use public transport (or walking) whenever I’m just transporting myself around, if there’s a reasonable option to do so (which there usually is) – but I often (as in, about once a week) find myself needing to transport a car-load of stuff across town. I’m not sure how you solve the problem of moving stuff around by public transport – nobody wants the bus to wait while I load ten boxes of costume and a load of oddly shaped props that don’t fit in boxes / camping gear and food for a weekend on board!

  6. yetanotherdave says:

    Yeah, there may be some kinks to work out, subsidised taxi’s, car hire for long distances could well be an answer.

    One thing I forgot to mention was working with supermarkets to improve the home shopping thing. Do your shopping as normal and get it delivered maybe.

    When the revolution comes. One day.

  7. Anonymous says:

    sorry being a joiner dragging all my tools to the next job by bus aint that desirable!nice ideal but only workable in 50% of cases

  8. yetanotherdave says:

    You’re probably quite pleased I’m not in charge of anything then :) Although I wouldn’t be banning cars, just providing a workable alternative.

  9. Anonymous says:

    It’s a brilliant idea in theory, but I’d still have to use my bike to get to work. That’s like £29 a week to use the bus though!

  10. yetanotherdave says:

    Put that way it sounds a lot, but compared to the cost of running a car it’s very cheap.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Ah a plan to make the rich pay more (I’m only joking don’t hit me!).

    I’ve always thought car pools (and more general vehicle pools) are the way forward. So you can get your cheap bus whenever you don’t carry stuff or want to drink, and you get to borrow a car just for the day if you need to move the sofa a few miles.

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